The term “soft skills” implies a variety of skills and competences. In this regard, in 2019 the EQF Advisory Group and the ESCO Member States Group asked the Commission to revise the existing terminology for transversal skills and competences (TSCs), and an expert group was formed to this purpose. As it is mentioned in the second report of this expert group called Towards a structured and consistent terminology on transversal skills and competences (September 2020):
While TSCs are becoming increasingly important in the labour market and for education and training, no broadly shared terminology exists in this area. A multitude of partly competing headlines illustrate this lack of agreement; terms like ‘transferable skills’, ‘soft skills’, non-cognitive skills’, ‘socio-emotional skills and competences’, ‘key competences’, ‘cross-sectoral skills’, ‘skills for the future’ and ‘21st Century Skills’ all refer to a broad spectrum of skills and competences relevant across occupations and sectors and deemed to be of key importance to citizens and societies alike.
For the purpose of developing the Training Kit, we consider the use of the concept of Transversal Skills and Competences as described by the above-mentioned report (page 19):
Transversal skills and competences (TSCs) are learned and proven abilities which are commonly seen as necessary or valuable for effective action in virtually any kind of work, learning or life activity. They are “transversal” because they are not exclusively related to any particular context (job, occupation, academic discipline, civic or community engagement, occupational sector, group of occupational sectors, etc.).
Following the expert group’s report, the TSCs can be structured as in the figure below:
Source: Report Towards a structured and consistent terminology on transversal skills and competences (September 2020)
The second methodological decision is to choose the soft skills or TSCs that we consider are in line with the objective of the Be Creative! Project, i.e., to enhance the soft skills of de-affiliated young people in order to facilitate their social, cultural and professional integration (Be Creative! Project proposal). It is also mentioned in the project proposal that a particular focus will be placed on the following soft skills: Communication, Adaptability, Problem solving, Teamwork, Critical thinking, Conflict resolution and Leadership.
Based on this, we consider that the TSCs that match with the Be Creative! Project’s aim and focus are the TSCs which are in the central circle in the figure above:
1.Analysing and processing information
2.Planning and organising
3.Addressing problems and issues
4.Creating and innovating
- Responding to routine requirements of tasks
- Acting according to values
- Acting independently and showing initiative
- Managing negative factors in life and work
- Dealing with change
- Engaging in self-development
11.Conveying and exchanging information and ideas
12.Showing respect and consideration for others
14.Collaborating with others in teams and networks
15.Managing and leading others
16.Conciliating and negotiating
At the same time, the Be creative! Project’s innovative methodology consists of fostering soft skills – or TSCs – among young adults through cultural activities, especially live spectacle and performing arts. Thus, although the Training Kit will have a theoretical part, the main focus will be set on practical activities that will allow participants to develop TSCs through performing arts, such as theatre, radio, video, documentary, photography, exhibitions, etc.