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 BSF Resources


group of diverse women smiling in a row

YWCA Toronto Building Sustainable Futures MODEL [PDF]

two women smiling in classroom

YWCA - Building Sustainable Futures PHASE ONE [PDF]

two older women in a classroom

YWCA - Building Sustainable Futures PHASE TWO [PDF]

one woman at a desktop computer

YWCA - Building Sustainable Futures PHASE THREE [PDF]

Compendium of Best Practices in Employment Programming [PDF]

Professional Business Practices Curriculum [PDF]

YWCA Building Sustainable Futures Compendium [PDF]

YWCA Building Sustainable Futures Toolkit [PDF]

YWCA Construire des avenirs durables résumé et trousse (French) [PDF]