In the context of the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs (COM/2010/0682 final), recent forecasts of future skill needs anticipate increase in labour market demand for additional qualifications and key competences, namely transversal competences critical for employability and employment, such as communication in foreign languages, creativity, teamwork, leadership, communication, etc.. In this respect, most European countries have made significant progress in incorporating key competences for employability, creativity and innovation into national curricula, in defining specific learning outcomes and developing a range of assessment tools to support the learning process.

However, awareness-raising of VET learners on the importance of upskilling and developing transversal competences for employability has not been adequately addressed. According to OECD (2010), learners are not aware of what transversal competences are, how they can be acquired, which competences they already possess and which of them they should improve in order to increase their future employability potential. As a result, although unemployment rate in European -especially Southern European- countries, mainly due to the economic crisis, has recently increased to unprecedented levels, 32% of employers face difficulties with filling jobs due to competences shortage when about 509,000 jobs in the European ICT sector remain vacant.


The main objectives of KeySTART2Work project are to increase VET learners’ awareness of the value and potential of TCs development, to improve their employability potential, reducing low-skilled workforce and overcoming skills mismatch.
To achieve these objectives, the project will undertake the following activities:

  • Identify good practices on Transversal Competences assessment tools
  • Map the state-of-the art of the knowledge and understanding of TCs by VET learners (quantitative survey)
  • Examine the key competences needed for employability of VET learners from the perspective of TC experts (qualitative survey)
  • Validate the Catalogue of Transversal Competences key for employability by implementing focus groups with employers and employers’ associations
  • Elaborate a Catalogue of TCs Key for Employability of VET learners
  • Disseminate the project through Empowerment Seminars and Multiplier Events
  • Develop innovative tools


The KeySTART2Work project will develop the following tools:

An ICT self-assessment tool to help VET learners discover their level of TCs, upskill and improve, as well as gain awareness on the added value and potential of TCs for the labour market while providing VET experts, career services providers and other stakeholders with a new, innovative tool and training material to enhance learners’ transversal competences. The ICT tool will be provided in English and translated in all 6 project languages (Spanish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Polish).

Guidelines and recommendations on how to create a support service to assess and, accordingly, improve the TCs of VET learners. The service will be established as an experimental unit in the Chamber of Commerce of Granada (Spain), in view of testing and incorporating the project results.


KeySTART2Work project mainly addresses VET learners, jobseekers, young and adult professionals interested in making the most of their transversal competences, and as a result, improve their employability. The project also targets VET professionals and career guidance providers in the project target countries (Spain, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Poland) and beyond, interested in improving their know-how, by implementing new tools and training programmes.

At the same time, enterprises will contribute to the project as well as benefit from workers that up-skill or re-skill. Institutional stakeholders such as policy makers, adult education institutions and National Agencies responsible for VET will also be targeted in view of promoting awareness and policy adaptation, as needed.

More on project outcomes