30 giugno 2022, 10:00–12:00
Zollikofen near Bern and live online

How can transversal competences be trained? – A hybrid event of the Swiss International VET Academy

This event aims to broaden the discussion on how transversal competences can be trained effectively. The speakers are convinced that a programmatic change in education is needed to meet current and future challenges in social and job-related domains that are already defined. Personality development requires new and different ways of training, as can already be observed in some vocational education and training (VET) programmes worldwide.

Transit of information from one head to another
Adobe Stock

There is currently a broad discussion with regard to the training of transversal competences. They appear under several names, such as Core Competences, 21st Century Skills or Critical Core Skills. What they promise is attractive to governments and companies, but how do we train all these promising aspects of human potential? How can we train these particular skills in VET? Two referees, Prof. Dr. h.c. Rolf Arnold and Emanuel Wüthrich, present ideas and approaches to the challenge of training transversal competences in VET.

Setting the scene for the discussion

Transversal competences mirror the changing society we are living in and are part of the major challenges we face. From creativity over innovative and critical thinking to digital literacy, from self-management to emotional stability, from inclusion to motivation for lifelong learning and sustainability. On the wish list of governments and companies there are many interesting elements, whether it is personality, social skills or job-related skills. Setting new and relevant goals in education ensures evolution and enables young people to meet the challenges ahead. Besides setting new and relevant objectives, we also have to think of new ways to achieve them. This is especially relevant for personal and social competences that cannot be trained in the same way as knowledge and skills.


Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Rolf Arnold

Portrait of Rolf Arnold
Adrian Moser

Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Rolf Arnold was professor of education (vocational and adult education) at Technical University Kaiserslautern from 1989-2019. Now he is Senior Research Professor at this University and speaker of the Virtual Campus Rhineland-Palatinate. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg in 1983 and his postdoctoral qualification at the Distance University of Hagen in 1987. From 1983-1988 he worked for the German Foundation of International Development (now GIZ). He has also been responsible for training and research projects in many countries such as Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Lesoto, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Thailand. He worked for many different organisation including UNESCO, DEZA, GIZ and other agencies.


He wrote more than 50 books such as:

  • Fake News in Science and Education: Leaving Weak Thinking Behind (2019)
  • Power of Personal Mastery
    Continual Improvement for School Leaders and Students (2017)
  • How to Lead without Domineering
    29 Smart Leadership Rules (2014)

Senior Advisor & Senior Lecturer Swiss International VET Academy

Portrait of Emanuel Wütrich

Emanuel Andreas Wüthrich graduated from the University of Fribourg with a Master Degree in “social and VET pedagogy” in 2008. In 2009 he started to work at Swiss Federal University for VET (SFUVET). For several years he was responsible for the accompaniment and development of the health care professions in VET of Switzerland and advised on the development of curricula and implementation of methods and tools. He became a Senior Lecturer for VET Pedagogy at the University of Fribourg mandated by SFUVET and started to work in the international field and as a Senior Advisor in the International Relations Unit of SFUVET where he now advises on labour market-oriented curriculum development, situation-based teaching and instruction and - on a systemic level - on the development of efficient VET systems. Currently he works on transversal competences and the importance of attitudes for effective teaching and training. He is currently involved in mandates in Singapore, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Serbia.