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Transversal competencies

to unlock learners'

potential

What are the core underpinning

competencies, not typically provided in formal

education, that 21st century workers and

citizens needs most, to adapt and thrive in

work and in life?

Core competencies are transversal

competencies, also commonly referred to as

soft skills, key competencies, 21st century

skills, and global competencies. They are the

foundation for applying and adapting

cognitive or technical, specialist or domain

level skills, as well as being essential skills in

their own right.

The currency to control your own

destiny

To survive and thrive in this competitive,

hyper-connected, technology-driven global

economy, organisations, workers and citizens

need to develop and deploy a core set of

transversal competencies as the cornerstone

for all their endeavours. These competencies,

such as collaborative problem-solving, are the

currency that will enable them to make sense

of the complex changes and to participate as

change agents and innovators, rather than

merely as passengers. Even more

importantly, transversal competencies will

equip organisations, workers and citizens to

control their own destinies, rather than be

controlled by external forces.

What are transversal

competencies?

They are 'the cornerstone for the personal

development of a person'. A competency is

more than just knowledge and skills. It

involves the ability to meet complex demands,

by drawing on and mobilising psychosocial

resources (including skills and attitudes) in a

particular context. (For all references and

citations, see the White Paper on which this

article is based.)

Transversal competencies have the

following characteristics:

• they are transferable across domains,

geographies, work and life contexts

• they typically relate to social and

interpersonal relations

• they are cross-functional and crosscurricular in training and education, but

can be combined in a blended learning

approach, e.g. collaborative problembased learning

• communication is the key element in

Simon Whittemore

Business Development Director,

UK & International

skilla

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