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Conference Object

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Adult and Continuing Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | University Extension

Publication Details

This paper was presented at the 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, held in Valencia, Spain, on 11-13 March, 2019. Available online at,


Much has been written in recent decades about transversal skills. The term is often used interchangeably with ‘soft skills’ and ‘transferable skills’. One can also refer to ‘key skills’ and ‘core skills’. The Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) assesses the proficiency of adults specifically three areas: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. “These three are considered to be “key information-processing skills” in that they are:
• necessary for fully integrating and participating in the labour market, education and training, and social and civic life;
• highly transferable, in that they are relevant to many social contexts and work situations; and
• “learnable” and, therefore, subject to the influence of policy.”

In addition, there has been considerable discourse about the mismatch of the skills acquired through formal, non-formal and informal learning and those needed for the workplace. This may be inevitable in a context where workplaces are dynamic and changing, However it is recognised that the acquisition and use of transferable skills which can be applied in varying workplace contexts can, to some extent, support the future employability as well as the current employment of the learner.

It is in this context that the VISKA project partnership worked together to arrive at a common understanding and a definition of Transversal Skills with a view to developing a means for identifying and supporting the assessment of these skills in a validation process for low-qualified adults and migrants.

Various definitions of Transversal Skills, such as those developed by CEDEFOP, ELGPN, ESCO, UNESCO, Skills Panorama (EC) and Conference board of Canada were considered. While these definitions and the contexts within which they were used differed in several respects, they were interrelated and linked to other categories of skills and competence definitions. This paper will detail a framework to support the identification of a range of skills which has been developed in the context of the enhanced integration of migrant, refuges and adults with low or no qualifications into the workplace.