Skills for success (Essential Skills) summary

Essential skills are needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their projects and adapt to workplace change.

Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine essential skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways.

The application of these skills may be described throughout this document within the skills and knowledge which support each sub-task of the trade. The following are summaries of the requirements in each of the essential skills, taken from the essential skills profile.

  • Reading

    Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) require reading skills to gather information from forms and labels. They also need to read to understand more complex texts such as equipment and policy and procedure manuals, specifications, codes, standards and safety regulations. They read bulletins and brochures from suppliers describing new products and technologies. They also refer to engineering reports, site orientation guidelines, project specifications, work orders and change notices when planning a job.

  • Document use

    Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) need to be able to locate and interpret information in several types of documents such as labels/stickers, posted signs, forms, lists, tables, and installation and delivery schedules. They also refer to and interpret complex blueprints, drawings and sketches integrating text, drawings and actual components. They may prepare estimates, invoices and incident reports.

  • Writing

    Writing skills are used by lathers (interior systems mechanics) to write notes to themselves to record information, such as a personal log of what work was completed on a given day. They may also write notes to supervisors requesting more information or materials or write notes summarizing discussions and decisions at a weekly toolbox or safety meeting. They may also write a quote or estimate that includes costs of labour to remove existing materials and install the new product, as well as costs of all materials. They may also need to complete documents such as incident reports describing an event they witnessed.

  • Oral communication

    Some tasks performed by lathers (interior systems mechanics) require oral communication skills, including discussing safety issues, work schedules, modifications, materials and equipment with supervisors, contractors, inspectors, building managers, clients, suppliers and other tradespeople. Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) may explain the fabrication, construction, installation and repair procedures to clients as well. They may also instruct others, such as an apprentice or a work crew, explaining and demonstrating procedures.

  • Numeracy

    Numeracy skills are extremely important in the everyday work of lathers (interior systems mechanics). Substantial mathematical skills are used in taking measurements, doing material layout, using formulas and performing trade calculations such as geometry and trigonometry to calculate distances and angles. Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) may create project timelines, calculating time requirements for tasks in the project. They may also calculate amounts for supplies, estimates and overall costs.

  • Thinking

    Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) solve problems in situations where work may require modifications due to work of other trades or shortages of materials. They may perform modifications to project designs to correct flaws. They need the ability to think spatially and visualize in three dimensions. Problem solving and thinking sequentially are important skills in fabrication and installation activities. Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) need to be able to plan their work and organize tasks and materials.

  • Working with others

    Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) may work independently or with partners or apprentices depending on the type of work they are performing. They must coordinate their work with many other co-workers, trades and suppliers. They see themselves as members of a team who work together to provide a quality service and product. Some lathers (interior systems mechanics) supervise the work of apprentices and other journeypersons on larger jobs.

  • Digital technology

    Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) use digital devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and two-way radios to communicate with others, record job changes and daily activities, track job progress, order materials, perform Internet research and perform word processing. Highly technical layout devices such as laser 3D scanners and total stations require advanced digital skills.

  • Continuous learning

    Lathers (Interior Systems Mechanics) are required to stay current with new products and materials. They refer to brochures or manuals from suppliers and by using them on the job. They also attend courses and orientations on safety procedures and the operation of equipment. They must also attend upgrading on topics such as layout, safety and rigging. On-the-job learning takes place continuously using methods such as safety meetings, toolbox talks and mentoring.