Transferrable Skills


The Soft Skill Approach


You may think that transferrable and soft skills are two different things but more often than not they are one in the same.  A transferrable skill is something a student does outside a work setting that can be used in a workplace.  An example of this is if the student who is an avid “gamer”, he/she has tremendous skills to take to the workplace.  Some of these skills are hand-eye co-ordination, dexterity, and being technologically savvy, just to name a few.  These particular skills are very valuable and are required for many different jobs. The Educators can play an important role in helping to identify the transferrable skills based on what they observe in the classroom.


The same goes for soft skills.  Let’s say a student has a particularly engaging and friendly personality; this is a transferrable skill.  There are many different positions available in need of friendly staff.  Once you have pinned down the students’ other attributes, a job could be close at hand in customer service, administration, or any number of positions.


In order to discover a student’s transferrable skills an Employment Professional needs to develop a “Discovery Process” which includes evaluating traits like core values and work preferences as well as task analysis.  Take the time to see what the student does – does he/she bowl?  Swim?  Skate? Play bingo?  Fish?  All of these activities show you transferrable skills; it takes time and dedication on the part of the Employment Professional to discover the transferrable skills of the Job Seeker.  The Employment Professional and Educator can work together to work through the Discovery Process.


Remember though, just because you think the transferrable skill set a student has is best suited to a particular job doesn’t mean the student will feel the same way. For example, a student may be friendly, love food and beverage, has reasonable command of the written word - all of these skills that are necessary to work in the service sector.  However, the student may have no interest in the service sector.


Once you have found the student’s transferrable skills, you then have to find out how to make them work in one of the areas the individual would be pleased to work in.  This website has many tools to help discover the potentials and interests of a Job Seeker ( 

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