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The six core skills for learning, work, and society

The British Council have defined six core skills that support learning, citizenship and employment. Here they are in more detail.
Teacher assessing students and taking notes while they present to classmates
© British Council

The British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme aims to support young people to develop the knowledge, skills and values needed for life and work in a global economy.

The Core skills

As part of this, the British Council have defined six core skills that support learning, citizenship and employment:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Student leadership
  • Citizenship
  • Digital literacy

Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.

Critical thinking and problem solving

Promoting self-directed thinking that produces new and innovative ideas and solves problems; reflecting critically on learning experiences and processes and making effective decisions.

Communication and collaboration

Fostering effective communication (orally, and in writing); actively listening to others in diverse and multilingual environments and understanding verbal and non-verbal communication; developing the ability to work in diverse international teams, including learning from and contributing to the learning of others, assuming shared responsibility, co-operating, learning, delegating and compromising to produce new and innovative ideas and solutions.

Creativity and imagination

Promoting economic and social entrepreneurialism; imagining and pursuing novel ideas; judging values; developing innovation and curiosity.

Student leadership

Recognising the importance of honesty and empathy; recognising others’ needs and safety; fostering perseverance, resilience and self-confidence; exploring leadership, self-regulation and responsibility; personal health and well-being; career and life skills; learning to learn and lifelong learning.


Developing active, globally aware citizens who have the skills, knowledge and motivation to address issues of human and environmental sustainability and work towards a fairer world in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue; developing an understanding of what it means to be a citizen of their own country and their own country’s values.

Digital literacy

Developing the skills to discover, acquire and communicate knowledge and information in a globalised economy; using technology to reinforce, extend and deepen learning through international collaboration.

If you’d like to learn more about the core skills required for learning, work and society, take the British Council online course today.

© British Council
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