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What are 21C skills?

21C skills are the essential set of knowledge, abilities and personal qualities required to thrive in tomorrow’s rapidly changing world of work.

These skills are not specific technical competencies but generic skills that underpin many jobs. In a world where technical skills are constantly changing and individual knowledge is far less valuable, these broad “how to” skills are critical.

Many different frameworks for 21C skills have been promulgated internationally, but we are all essentially talking about the same things.

Four hexagon shapes with words inside. Each box is labelled either 'Use', 'Be', 'Know', 'Grow' and 21C Skills in the middle of each. The colours are green, pink, blue and yellow.

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There are four key categories: 

  1. Knowing the new basics in areas like digital and global working, design and entrepreneurship

  2. An ability to use that knowledge to achieve results, through creative and critical thinking, working collaboratively to solve problems and communicate results

  3. Being curious, tenacious, organised, emotionally resilient and a team player

  4. Having a growth mindset that keeps you learning, unlearning and relearning