Life skills approach in Europe

The alarming lack of basic skills across Europe, indicated by PIAAC survey, along with the need of skills diversification among the increasing number of newcomers to Europe has highlighted the urgent need for the adoption of a comprehensive approach to learning. Providing adequate and appropriate courses for the above mentioned target group does not only mean allowing them to escape from the low skills trap, but also to empower them to contribute to their own lives, families and communities. Non–formal adult education can and should be the driver of this change by embracing the vision of life skills. The concept of life skills exceeds the basic skills concept, since it promotes more than just a basis for survival. In some countries, adult education providers have already started initiatives to broaden the concept of basic skills and have adopted more holistic practices in basic skills provision.

The first intellectual output of the LSE is threefold.

The first part the definition of Life skills:

Life skills are a constituent part of capabilities for life and work in a particular social, cultural and environmental context. The types of life skills emerge as a response to the needs of the individual in real life situations.

The following illustration represents the eight types of capabilities that are incorporated in the definition of life skills as well as the benefits they bring to the individual and the society:

The second part is a comprehensive analysis, which provides an overview of the understandings of life skills in Europe and beyond as well as a collection of good practices and innovative tools already used in the partner countries and a presentation of the main findings of the project’s research.

The Report on the Life skills Approach in Europe is available in English:



A short 10 page summary is available in English, Greek, Danish, Slovenian and French.


The third part is a database of good practices and tools, which is available here.