AWES offers training designed to fit your needs. Workshops and courses can be delivered on- or off- site, online or through a blended approach.

AWES workplace training can help your organization achieve:

  • Better health and safety records. Providing employees with a better understanding of safety practices will lead to fewer injuries, less employee downtime and lower insurance costs.
  • More efficient use of resources. Essential skills training helps employees reach their potential. Skilled people make better use of materials, reducing the costs associated with errors and waste.
  • Employee satisfaction and retention. Through investment in training that is tailored for your workforce, employees will have higher job satisfaction, motivation and commitment.

Below are examples of our workshops and courses. If you don’t see exactly what you want we will customize training based on your needs. 


Workshops for all employees

Building a Highly Skilled Workforce: Making the Link between Essential Skills and the Bottom Line

This workshop is for Human Resources (HR) professionals, Organizational Development (OD) consultants, company owners, leaders, mentors and other workplace trainers. You will explore the relationship between workplace essential skills and core competencies. Learn how to use workplace essential skills to identify skill gapsin your workforce, write job descriptions, develop learning plans, conduct performance appraisals and support career progression. Discover how workplace essential skills training can address the needs of your staff and your bottom line at the same time.

Giving Safety Talks

Safety starts with information and how it is communicated, learned, and implemented by your employees. Find out how to design presentations that are engaging, concise, and easy for everyone to understand. We focus on how to give talks to non-native English speakers and those with lower literacy and essential skills levels. This workshop is designed for frontline leaders who need to give routine safety talks in the workplace.

Plain Language: Finding the “Write” Words

Use plain language principles to write and design better workplace documents and correspondence. Find out how to organize and communicate content in emails, documents, memos, posters, training materials, new employee orientation materials, and company policies and procedures. Using plain language principles saves time and reduces your costs. They help organizations communicate and document information more effectively. This workshop is designed for leaders and those who write and design workplace documents.

Document Use

Reading, understanding, and implementing information contained in company documents is an essential skill. Whether it is a basic hazard assessment or a complex blueprint, there is a better way to do it. Identify the keys to understanding a document quickly using the text, information design and organization. Learn to work with lists, entry forms, graphs and charts, and picture/mimetic documents. Enhance your reading skills and strategies for working with documents. This workshop is designed for frontline leaders and workers.

Thinking in the Workplace

All essential skills first require strong thinking skills. This workshop equips leaders, apprentices and labourers to use a broad range of tools in problem solving, decision-making, critical thinking, job-task planning, significant use of memory, and finding information (such as electronically accessing needed information).

360-Degree Communication

Communication is the backbone of an organization. This workshop enables frontline leaders to communicate more effectively with subordinates, peers, senior leadership and clients. The workshop focuses on presentation skills and interpersonal competencies, including persuading others, giving feedback and dealing with conflict.

Workplace Integration: Supporting Newcomers with Integration into the Canadian Workplace

This workshop explores the most common challenges newcomers encounter when integrating into the Canadian workplace. It will explore strategies to ease the process including planning for integration, upgrading communication skills, adapting to cultural differences and enhancing English skills. You will discover what defines Canadian workplace culture and how accommodating others can be productive. The workshop uses AWES’ integration resources and tools and explains how you can incorporate them into your own workplace.

Working on a Culturally-Diverse Team

As workplaces and client bases become more diverse, intercultural skills become vital to high functioning teams. This workshop explores the foundations of intercultural competence with a focus on communication, power relationships and time management. You will use AWES’ tools and strategies to learn how to build trust, credibility and rapport across cultures. This workshop is designed for leaders and their teams.


Courses for all employees

All the following courses are delivered as blended learning, combining face-to-face and e-learning.  They also can be delivered completely in a face-to-face workshop format. AWES courses are eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding. Click HERE to find out more about the Canada Alberta Job Grant.

English for Workplace Safety

24 hours (15 hours face-to-face and 9 hours online work)
This course is for non-native speakers with low English skills. The training builds language, intercultural integration, and essential skills related to workplace safety. Participants will also strengthen their digital technology skillsby completing the online section of the course.

Workplace Integration

36 hours (24 hours face-to-face and 12 hours online work)
This course is for newcomer professionals who need to enhance their English, communication and intercultural skills for integration into the Canadian workplace. The online section of the course helps participants strengthen their digital technology skills.

Bridge to Frontline Leadership

32 hours (24 hours face-to-face and 8 hours online work)
This course is for non-native speakers moving toward frontline leadership positions such as team leads, shift supervisors, crew leaders, lead hands, project managers, safety trainers and mentors. The course builds participants’ language abilities using the seven key knowledge areas for supervisory positions. (Communication, thinking skills, diversity, coaching and mentoring, change, project management, workplace safety.) Participants will also strengthen their digital technology skills by completing the online section of the course.

Workplace Essential Skills Training

Recommended minimum training length of 24 hours face-to-face
AWES can customize essential skills training for any organization.  We begin with an organizational needs assessment that includes assessing the complexity of the tasks related to the jobs being targeted.  Here is an example of what this training may look like:

  • Improve workplace communication so employees speak clearly and with confidence for routine and non-routine demands through focused comprehensibility instruction.
  • Decrease errors in document use tasks in the workplace by teaching strategies to approach your organization’s specific workplace documents.
  • Increase capacity to produce written text required for the job.
  • Provide intercultural workplace information to improve teamwork.

Note: The overall cost for 24 hour Canada Alberta Job Grant  funded workshops is approximately $13,500. The amount per person amount is dependent on the number of participants.


Practitioner Training

The essential skills framework can be challenging to learn on your own. AWES teaches you what it all means and how to use it to support your learners and clients. Workshops are designed for developing a comprehensive applied knowledge of workplace essential skills. We can customize workshops to meet the specific needs of your organization and the clients you serve. The following are some examples of  the training AWES has developed.

Foundations in Workplace Essential Skills

This full-day workshop explores the foundational concepts of the nine essential skills. You will:

  • Explore essential skills complexity levels and dimensions through a focus on oral communication and continuous learning skills.
  • Build competence in workplace task analysis.
  • Understand the workplace essential skills framework in relation to international adult literacy surveys and other key workforce development frameworks.
  • Discover how workplace essential skills meets the ongoing demands of a changing workforce.
  • Access the leading tools and publications in the workplace essential skills field.
WES for Specific Groups

Each of the two-day workshops listed below deepens knowledge of the methodology of the nine essential skills, task analysis, and complexity scales. Learning the methodology is facilitated through interactive activities with others from similar occupational backgrounds and by applying what you learn to your specific workplace context.

Day 2 of the workshop is tailored to your particular practitioners’ group. You choose which workshop best suits your workplace needs:

  1. ESL Providers Integrating Workplace Essential Skills into the ESL Classroom – This two-day workshop is for workplace language trainers, ESL instructors and related service providers. You will take an in-depth look at the Essential Skills and Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Comparative Framework. You’ll discover ways to integrate essential skills and authentic workplace tasks into lesson plans and the ESL classroom.
  2. Employment Support Agents Building Essential Skills into Employment Services – This two-day workshop is for those working in settlement agencies, employment counseling and related occupations. You will learn how to use the workplace essential skills framework to support your clients in finding meaningful employment.
  3. Adult Literacy Providers Integrating Essential Skills into the Adult Literacy Classroom – This two-day workshop is for adult literacy practitioners. You will take an in-depth look at the Essential Skills and Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) Comparative Framework. You’ll discover ways to integrate essential skills and authentic workplace tasks into classroom activities.
Advanced Practitioner Training – Working Effectively with Employers

This one-day workshop explores a workplace essential skills training initiative from first contact with the employer to the post-training follow up. It gives practitioners an insider’s perspective on conducting successful workplace essential skills initiatives in organizations. You will learn how to:

  • Gain and maintain buy in from employers
  • Interview workers across an organization
  • Recommend training and non-training solutions
  • Implement initiatives
  • Conduct effective post-training evaluations with an eye on business outcomes
Advanced Practitioner Training – Conducting Needs Assessments

This one-day workshop equips practitioners to conduct successful workplace essential skills needs assessments in sectors and organizations. You will learn how to:

  • Work with stakeholders to build trust and buy in at all levels.
  • Create communication plans.
  • Design assessment tools.
  • Interview participants.
  • Conduct task analyses and assign levels of complexity.
  • Design training solutions.
  • Integrate effective pre- and post-learning assessments.