The Skills-for-Skills framework has been created through multi-method analysis. A team of global industrial psychologists from Cappfinity, Professor Fred Oswald from Rice University, Career Service/Educational Practitioners and Researchers from the Cibyl Team at Group GTI combined efforts to examine the foundational skills that are highly likely to support students build other skills and realise their potential.
The first stage involved a narrative review of existing skills frameworks, academic papers and resources. Sources that were examined are listed below. Industrial psychologists completed a content analysis from across these existing frameworks and themes were generated that related to foundational skills of the future.
In addition to the narrative review, over 100 hours of qualitative interviews were analysed with global heads of talent that highlighted the skills they believed would be essential for early career talent in the future.
The skills that underpin natural behaviours and motivations, These are the skills that are likely to be consistent requirements across multiple employers and jobs/roles.
Data from Cappfinity’s pre validated and externally audited skills library has also been used to examine the skills included and their link to job performance.
Leadership features in most frameworks relating to work. As noted in the Framework principles, leadership is not included as one single skill in the Skills-for-Skills framework. Leadership is generally delivered through a collection of multiple behavioural skills being deployed. It can be demotivating to include leadership as a term in a core skill framework when not everyone will lead and there are many different ways successful leaders use their skills for positive effect. Various research on leadership highlights that several of the above essential skills such as Curiosity, Collaboration and Self Awareness all form a strong foundation of high performing leaders.
The eight Skills-for-Skills are based on the behavioural skills most seen across early career roles globally but the validation process identified several additional skills for entry level roles that differed by industry or job. In many cases these skills are also cognitive or technical in nature and relate to tasks that are carried out in the job, for example legal associates requiring critical analysis, numerically skilled accountants, marketers with strong verbal reasoning.
When employers are surveyed they will often note their need for other skills such as Commercial Awareness and Entrepreneurialism. Within the research into the Skills-for-Skills, these skills are not consistently noted. This is not to say that these skills do not deliver important outcomes but it is likely that they are not foundational in nature and are trainable with guidance and mentoring. Individuals high in skills such as Analysis and Curiosity are also easily able to develop their capacity to be commercially aware and entrepreneurial.
Technology and digital skills including those which contribute to or leverage Artificial Intelligence are undoubtedly critical for the majority of future jobs. However the validation studies highlighted that the proportion to which these skills are required are particularly aligned to those seeking to work chiefly in technology roles. On this basis they are not included within the core framework. It is worth noting that the skills of Learning Agility, Curiosity and Clarity are also closely aligned to entering technology roles and will facilitate the acquisition of more technical skills such as coding. However, we will continue to consider whether Digital Skills should be foundational and welcome feedback on this point.
These frameworks created by JISC are noted. The first for students, the second for educator teams.
Jisc Discovery Tool(distributed via Potentia.ly)
Jisc: Building Digital Capabilities Framework
Cappfinity global employer and Strengths Profile data since 2012
ISE Student Development Survey 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Nuffield Skills Imperative 2035