Elena Poposka

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Prof. Ronald Hansen


The essential skills are the skills needed for work, learning, and life. They provide the foundation for learning other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace and career change. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada identifies nine essential skills: reading, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking, computer use, and continuous learning. In my research I investigated the effect that the essential skills training and the integrated learning model (ILM - critical, facilitated and independent learning environment) have on the students’ attitude towards learning, motivation and confidence in their abilities to succeed in their new careers. A qualitative approach was used. Eight students from two learning centres participated in the study. Data were collected from interviews with students, centre managers, and students’ journals over a six week period. Four categories of students were identified. It was determined that each group benefited in different ways. Two categories benefited the most from the essential skills training, and the ILM. The implications for further research are that age, ESL level, health issues, time provided for retraining, limited vocational options, and stress are factors that affect the extent to which these participants are able to benefit.



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