Transversal knowledge, skills and competences

Transversal knowledge, skills and competences are relevant to a broad range of occupations and economic sectors. They are often referred to as core skills, basic skills or soft skills, the cornerstone for the personal development of a person. Transversal knowledge, skills and competences are the building blocks for the development of the "hard" skills and competences required to succeed on the labour market.

Within the skills pillar, transversal skills and competences are organised in a hierarchical structure with the following five headings:

  • Thinking
  • Language
  • Application of knowledge
  • Social interaction
  • Attitudes and values

In the course of ESCO, both the concepts and hierarchical structure of the transversal knowledge, skills and competences were developed by the Cross-sector Reference Group. The development is based on the analysis of a wide range of existing national and sectoral classifications, the European Dictionary of Skills and Competences (DISCO) and other sources.