2.1 Core competencies

Core competencies are common to all jobs. The core competencies align to the definitions of foundation skills typically used in the Australian VET system – specifically, the Employability Skills Framework developed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority, with minor differences recommended by education system experts. 

About core competencies 

Currently there are different terms for core competencies, including employability skills, soft skills, foundational skills and transferable skills. 

The Australian Skills Classification provides a consistent language and a way to compare the level of competency rather than proxies like education levels or occupation classifications. 

The Australian Skills Classification uses a 10-point scale to describe the competency required for a core competency within an occupation. Each value has corresponding description to explain what it means. These definitions are general and not specific to occupations. 

Wider applications 

The skills classification offers researchers, governments, industry, education and training sectors a common way to identify, measure, assess or compare core competencies. This can help to focus and align efforts to develop core competencies in high demand. 

The classification of core competencies also makes it possible to consider their role in the development and application of transferable skills. Core competencies are as important to skill transferability as specialist tasks. For example, businesses may need workers with technical skills, but they may not be productive without core competencies such as oral communication, teamwork or problem solving.