Employment Service

Life & Soft Skills Training

Life and soft skills are key transferable skills covering a range of abilities and attitudes, such as - basic literacy and numeracy, - self-care, health and mental wellbeing knowledge and competencies (e.g. dealing with emotions, avoiding risky behaviour, self-respect and respect for others) - inter-personal skills (communications, maintaining relationships, dealing with conflicts) - skills relevant for learning and working (group work, decision making, problem solving, goal setting, learning skills etc.) Life and soft skills are basic and portable. They are key to continuous independent learning, for self-management and for coping with changes.


Initially and for the most part a domain of non-formal training providers, life and soft skills education has also entered and been a long-time feature of formal education at all stages (primary and basic education, vocational education and training, higher education). Employers are stressing the relevance of soft skills for work productivity and success and foster their development particularly for entrylevel employees, interns, and apprentices.


Life and soft skills are preconditions for employability. They enable individuals to engage in the society and labour market in a constructive way and to successfully manage their personal (working) lives, education and learning.

Key to Success

A failure-friendly, safe and inclusive learning environment coupled with qualified practitioners and pedagogies that allow learners to think creatively, to collaborate and to deal with authentic and relevant real-world problems are key to success.

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UNICEF online: Definition of terms. WHO Department of Mental health (1999): „Partners in Life Skills Education. Conclusions from a United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting, Geneve, p. 1. International Labour Organization (ed.) (2013): “Enhancing youth employability: What? Why? and How? Guide to core work skills”. UNESCO Bangkok (2012): “Regional Handbook on Life Skills Programmes for Non-Formal Education”. International Youth Foundation (2014): Passport to Success: Preparing Young People for the World of Work. Hanbury, Clare (2008): “The Life Skills Handbook. An active learning handbook for working with young people”. Government of South Sudan/ UNESCO (ed.) (2013): “Skills for Life for Children. Life Skills and Psychosocial Support for Children in Emergencies. Teacher Guide for children”. Life Skills and Citizenship Education Initiative Middle East and North Africa Youth Employment Funders Group/Mastercard Foundation (ed.) (2017): “What Works in Soft Skills Development for Youth Employment. A Donors’ Perspective”. GIZ Expertise: The life skills approach. Toolkit Learning and Working in the Informal Economy. Hietanen, Lenita/ Kesälahti, Essi (2015): “Where Should I Begin? How Could I Develop? Handbook for training work life and entrepreneurship skills in comprehensive and general upper secondary schools”. Nationaler Pakt für Ausbildung und Fachkräftenachwuchs in Deutschland (2006): “Kriterienkatalog Ausbildungsreife der deutschen Industrie und Arbeitsagentur”.

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