Soft skills

"How to support the development of soft skills for job seeking and employability of new migrants?" - has been the question of the first JEM workshop:

Soft skills

Soft skills are usually defined in contrast to job-specific skills that constitute the core occupational requirements of a job. A skill is the "ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and solve problems". 

  • See the Soft skills definition from Wikipedia.
  • The Cedefop defines them as "Skills that are cross-cutting across jobs and sectors (see Sector-specific jobs) and relate to personal competences (confidence, discipline, self-management) and social competences (teamwork, communication, emotional intelligence)"

Some are close to and could be included in "transversal skills", "personal and transversal competences" or in the 8 key competences for lifelong learning defined by the Recommendation 2006/962/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006.

Methods to develop soft skills

Mentoring Circles™

Inova Consultancy has developed a methodology for Mentoring Circles™ in 2001 to facilitate soft skills development. It is aimed at increasing and nurturing self-confidence, preventing isolation and connecting people with peers. They are usually groups of 4 to 5 people meeting with a mentor/facilitator to learn from each other over a set period of 2- 3 months. Circles bring together action learning theory, coaching and mentoring principles to support and build confidence and self-efficacy in learners. 

To find out more about mentoring:

Global approaches

  • Guidelines to develop personal and transversal skills. This is the result of the Yes-Me progress project that included a research phase to determine the personal and transversal skills required by companies, a benchmarking phase to select appropriate tools for developing the targeted skills and an experimentation and validation phase with young unemployed people.

Tools and methods used to develop soft skills

Key skills for the future

Seven key skills by Valérie Alibert after Stéphane Cannone




We leave this section open to your suggestions. Contact us to contribute other tools and methods and to share best practice.