By Bi Xiaofang , Johnny Sung , Lena Boo , Simon Freebody , Tan Bao Zhen

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The Critical Core Skills (CCS) profiling and development study sought an understanding of how CCS are distributed and developed in different occupations. Drawing on the CCS framework (2019) developed by SSG, the research team adopted a task-based approach (Ashton, Felstead, Davies & Green, 2000) to develop the CCS survey instrument to measure the importance and self-efficacy of CCS in the general Singaporean workforce. 

Collecting data from a representative survey of 2000 Singaporean workers, the study profiles Singaporean workers into seven occupation groups according to the different patterns of CCS importance. Each occupation group was labelled and described according to the most salient importance of CCS. Subsequently, the CCS in each occupation group which may need some further developments were also identified. From each of the profiled occupation groups, the study selected some participants for semi-structured interviews to understand how they used and developed their most important CCS in various contextual settings. In total, 39 semi-structured interviews were conducted. 

Adopting situated learning theory (SLT) (Lave & Wenger, 1991), the study managed to draw out the development pathway of CCS of these selected participants. The pathway further informed us of some practical recommendations on how training in various settings could further facilitate the development of CCS for the Singaporean workforce.