Essential Skills for Employment

(YWCA Building Sustainable Futures)

The Essential Skills for Employment (ESE) was launched in 2010 as a pilot project to build Literacy and Essential Skills capacity of service-delivery organizations.

The successes achieved in Phase One raised interest of a wide range of national stakeholders in the field leading to the creation of the second phase of this program.

Phase Two of the ESE program was launched in 2014 where we assisted our partners in helping women seize employment opportunities, build assets and create sustainable livelihoods. This phase also saw the development of the YWCA Building Sustainable (BSF) Initiative, a national learning collaborative that spans across a host of YWCA collaborators, employers and community partners in Canada.

Launched in 2019, we are currently in Phase Three of the YWCA BSF Initiative. In this phase of the national participatory research project, we are refining our essential skills training model to better serve diverse communities with a focus on Indigenous, newcomers, mature and youth workers.

Phase Three of the YWCA BSF initiative is engaging the following YWCA collaborators across the country.


YWCA 2023 BSF Resources

BSF Compendium. Group of women in front of window.

2023 Compendium - PDF

BSF - toolkit. Four women standing in front of window.

2023 Tookit - PDF

BSF French. Four women in front of a window.

Facilitator Resources

The following Facilitator Resources were provided by Collaborator Associations to accompany the Lesson Plans in the Phase Three Toolkit, “YWCA Building Sustainable Futures Toolkit- Integrating A Life Skills Approach Into Employment Training.” These have not been reviewed by YWCA Toronto and as such may include tools and terminology that are not used by YWCA Toronto. Practitioners may choose to use these resources to enhance the delivery of the Lesson Plans or adapt them to fit the needs of their participants and programs.

YWCA BSF Archived Resources

YWCA Building Sustainable Futures Compendium [PDF]
YWCA Building Sustainable Futures Toolkit [PDF]
YWCA Construire des avenirs durables résumé et trousse (French) [PDF]

Compendium of Best Practices in Employment Programming [PDF]
Professional Business Practices Curriculum [PDF]