Training activities

This tool is designed to help employers incorporate essential skills into workplace training. Activities that focus on each of the nine skills are provided. They can be used in formal or informal training to help employees improve their essential skills. The activities are suggestions. Employers are encouraged to modify them or develop new activities that are tailored to the specific needs and goals of their organization.


  1. Identify which essential skills you would like your employees to improve.
  2. Choose one or two of the suggested activities or develop new activities.
  3. Decide where, when and how the activities will be incorporated (e.g. existing or upcoming training courses).
  4. Incorporate the activities.

Helpful tips:

  • Include the activities in other workplace events such as meetings or team-building sessions.
  • Use the activities as warm-up or icebreaker exercises.
  • Incorporate authentic workplace materials from your organization to enhance the connection between the activities and the workplace (e.g. manuals, regulations, graphs, timesheets, surveys).
  • Support a peer-learning environment by encouraging employees to work with co-workers in order to complete the activities. Employees have different skill strengths and can learn from each other.
  • Refer to the essential skills profiles to identify the most important essential skills for employees in a particular occupation.
  • Use the essential skills workplace check-up to determine which essential skills employees feel are the most important for their jobs.


This table contains information regarding training activities.
 Essential skills  Training activities

Participants identify a workplace problem and develop possible solutions.

Participants brainstorm ways to improve their job performance and briefly explain how their ideas could be implemented.

Working with others

Participants create a list of common workplace terms and acronyms with definitions.

Participants practice appropriate responses to a conflict with a co-worker (Note: This activity can be done through role-playing. The situation should be developed by the trainer).


Participants read the training session agenda and circle areas of particular interest.

Participants read sections of safety manuals or employee handbooks and answer short questions (Note: Questions should be developed by the trainer).

Document use

Participants plot data on a graph and identify trends (Note: Data should be provided by the trainer).

Participants practice using documents they typically encounter in their jobs such as WHMIS, timesheets and schedules.

Oral communication

Participants interview a co-worker and introduce him/her to the group.

Participants describe what they like best and/or least about their jobs.


Participants write a brief summary of what they hope to learn during the training session.

After the session, participants complete a written evaluation of what they liked and/or disliked about the session.


Participants review the calculations on a fictitious pay stub (Note: Pay stub should be developed by the trainer).

Participants calculate the total cost of a business trip (Note: Information should be provided by the trainer).

Computer use

(if applicable)

Participants find, open and print a file needed for the training session (Note: This activity can be done during the session or in advance).

Participants search the Internet for information (articles, reports) related to the training session (Note: This activity can be done during the session or in advance).

Continuous learning

Participants evaluate what they have learned during the training session.

Participants list the skills they would like to learn or improve over the next year.

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