Typology of Transferable Skills for Women Employability in Kenya
Keywords:Transferable Skills, Employability, Life Skills, 21st Century Competencies, Gender Responsive Policy, Kenya
The transition of women from tertiary education to gainful employment has remained low, despite efforts put in place to enhance this. This review paper is the outcome of a synthesis of the literature on transferable skills for women and girls to enhance their skills development and employability through evidence-based gender responsive policies. The study was based on an integrative review of literature on the nature of transferable skills in Kenya and their influence on employability of girls and women. To appropriately contextualise the problem, researchers sought to understand the nature of transferable skills. The literature search was conducted using several databases for literature published in the last 5-8 years. Using keywords such as transferable skills, employability, women, the initial search revealed over 150 references. A total of 58 sources were included in the review. The paper provides a typology of transferable skills that can enhance women’s empowerment, as to what the literature suggests, and also based on the Basic Employability Skills Training (BEST) model used by CAP YEI in Kenya. The study was guided by the question: What is the nature of transferable skills provided in Kenya and what is already available in the literature? The findings reveal that practitioners’ and researchers’ conceptualisation of transferable skills varied across a narrow spectrum. These skills are typified as managerial, entrepreneurial, psycho-social, soft skills, life skills and 21st century competencies. These skills are essential for empowering youth to improve their employability in labour markets, especially in an African setting.