The Life Skills in Europe project (LSE) partners have proposed a new definition of life skills that they have been working on in the past year. The definition is the result of a long research process that includes interviews, good practices and tools collection.
The project partners found that using terms such as ‘competences’ and ‘skills’ might be too restrictive for the concepts they wanted to define. This is why they chose to use the term ‘capabilities’ because it does not depend on the context. The LSE project team believes the term also highlights the critical and ethical dimensions of a certain competence. Capabilities can thus be understood as a combination of knowledge, attitudes towards knowledge and different skills.
As a result of the project, the definition of life skills was formulated:
“Life skills are a constituent part of capabilities for life and work in a particular social, cultural and environmental context. The types of life skills emerge as a response to the needs of the individual in real life situations”.
The project partners identified the following components linked to the concept of life skills: basic skills (numeracy, literacy, digital), personal and interpersonal capabilities (that include some soft skills), civic capabilities, financial capabilities, health capabilities, and environmental capabilities.