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Monday, August 26, 2013


SustainAbilities is a project designed to improve job options, job satisfaction, productivity and safety in the Athabasca Oil Sands labour force. It involves assessing 9 Essential Skills and providing training up to the level required for the required job skills within the work environment.

The project involves:

  • RAP students (students in the public school system who are taking an registered apprenticeship program to get into the trades)
  • Careers Next Generation Apprentices
  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) WasteWater Division
  • The Fort McKay Group of Companies


Once our first cohort complete assessments and training, we anticipate more industry will want to take part in this project.


The project will unfold in two phases:

Phase 1 is an assessment of students' skill levels, strengths and gaps. The assessment:

  • Is administered at school by RAP teachers, and by invigilators at Keyano College
  • Is a standard online assessment
  • Can take up to 3 hours
  • Includes a brief assessment of English language fluency for ESL students

The students' individual results:

  • Are kept confidential and are not shared with employers
  • Are provided to each individual student by their teacher
  • Are pooled together for all students in a school, in order to identify group strengths and skill gaps


In Phase 2 of SustainAbilities, the results from the assessments will be used to plan for additional Essential Skills training. This training will be offered to selected groups, based on a number of factors including skill gaps, career interests and availability of training resources. For RAP students, training will be held on site at school.  Training is one on one, classroom and computer based.


SustainAbilities is being managed by Literacy Alberta with Keyano College, and studied by DataAngel Policy Research and its contractors. Funding is provided by the Government of Alberta, The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and local employers.