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What is a skill?

A research project looking at the changing needs of industry workplaces around the world.

A joint initiative in partnership with WorldSkills France and WorldSkills UK.

For 63 years and counting, the WorldSkills Competition has acted as a mirror to the evolution of trades across the world. Throughout these years many competition skills have disappeared, many have merged, and many new ones have materialized.

What Is A Skill? sets out to examine if these new skills are really representative of new trades, or just a passing phase? How do you actually define a trade? This project will take a closer look at how individual skills can be defined, and how the trades these skills represent evolve over time. It will analyse the changing needs of multiple industry workplaces worldwide, and the training that must be provided to fill the needs of these industries in the future.

What Is A Skill? is lead and facilitated by WorldSkills France, in joint initiative with WorldSkills UK, and supported by WorldSkills Foundation. Launched as part of the Global Skills Marketplace seminars at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 (see Resources below), the working group will present their research findings to the WorldSkills General Assembly in Lucerne, Switzerland in September 2014.

In this video, recorded during the Global Skills Marketplace seminars, Laurence Gates (WorldSkills France CEO) explains the background to the project, and the goals for this research:


The first What Is A Skill? working group meeting took place in Paris from 16-18 December 2013. Follow updates from the project the WorldSkills Foundation website, and our Facebook page.


Global Skills Marketplace 2013 Presentation (pdf, 12mb)