Transversal skills are ones needed in many different kinds of jobs and sectors. Basic customer service skills, for example, are key in careers such as home health aides, service technicians, housekeepers and the food service industry. Communication and teamwork skills are even more widely needed. Perhaps the most in-demand skills today are digital ones, whether general computer literacy, the ability to use specific software or social media proficiency.
As skill needs and job markets change, people need to continue to strengthen their skills and acquire new ones. Developing this capacity for lifelong learning is vital as our societies and economies begin to recover from the COVID-19 crisis: many jobs have been lost and many new ones are likely to be created, not always in the same sectors or requiring the same training and skills.
People who continue to learn and acquire transversal skills are less likely to be left behind. To ensure an inclusive future, governments will need to invest part of the resources devoted to the recovery to lifelong learning programmes, in particular for vulnerable groups: young people and those with low skills whose jobs are most at risk of transformation.
Discover more at OECD Skills Outlook 2021: Learning for Life.