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Competence and the need for transferable skills

Nägele, Christof; Stalder, Barbara E. (2017). Competence and the need for transferable skills. In: Mulder, Martin (ed.) Competence-based vocational and professional education: Bridging the worlds of work and education. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects: Vol. 23 (pp. 739-753). Cham: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-41713-4_34

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Transferable skills are skills that are relevant and helpful across different situations and areas of life. Such skills are often seen as a crucial factor adding to the employability of individuals. It is often assumed that transferable skills can be reused after transition to a new situation. In this chapter, these assumptions are being discussed. Important questions are: ‘What is the value of transferable skills?’, ‘What restricts the transferability of transferable skills?’ and ‘How can transferable skills be fostered through education and training?’. The chapter starts with an overview of the manifold definitions of ‘transferable skills’, which are used in research, practice and policy. It will be argued that transferable skills play an important role in the recruitment and selection process, as well as during organizational entry. The assumption that transferable skills are (easily) transferable will be questioned, as this transfer depends on individual and contextual factors. The chapter concludes with a reflection on how transferable skills can be developed in school based and company based education and training.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

PHBern Contributor:

Stalder, Barbara


Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects


Springer International Publishing




Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

17 Nov 2022 14:53

Last Modified:

20 Nov 2022 00:10

Publisher DOI:





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