Activity Introduction

Aspire-Thomas-photoframeQuick summary: Students will learn about transferable work skills, their importance in a work setting and how to develop them. Student will work in groups to research, understand and demonstrate the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ for one or more transferable skills in a short skit. Students then apply their new skills by competing in the Time-Management Game. Finally, students will consider how they can further develop transferable work skills through volunteering and community service.

Latrobe Logo 150This lesson supports La Trobe University’s Aspire Generation initiative, which empowers students to drive change through community engagement, volunteerism and leadership opportunities.

Essential questions:

  • What skills will I need to succeed in the world of work?
  • How can I learn and develop those skills if I don’t have a job?

21st century skills: 

aspire skills for every job skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 9 Work Studies

  • Plan and implement strategies and processes to improve their learning and enhance the potential to realise their aspirations and personal wellbeing (ACWSCL005
  • Describe the nature of work in Australia and the implications for current and future work opportunities (ACWSCL015
  • Investigate a wide range of occupations, and the skills and personal qualities required in these fields (ACWSCL006

Year 10 Work Studies

  • Explain the range of skills and attributes necessary to work effectively in the 21st century (ACWSCL025
  • Analyse emerging approaches to work and the implications these have for workers to be flexible, proactive and responsive (ACWSCL034

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability

Relevant parts of Year 9 achievement standards: Students understand the importance and components of self-directed and lifelong learning. They investigate the skills and personal qualities associated with a range of occupations and explain the importance of teamwork and collaboration. They investigate the changes occurring in work, workplaces and work-related relationships and the factors contributing to the changes. They identify opportunities associated with these changes. 

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students explain the relationship between changing circumstances, learning and 21st century work opportunities and identify the skills needed to manage changes. They analyse emerging 21st century work arrangements and the resultant changing relationships between participants, the opportunities arising and the skills needed for these emerging work arrangements.

Topic: Enterprise Learning

Unit of work: Aspire Generation – Work Studies

Time required: 90 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheets – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. List of Transferable Skills, Time Management Challenge instructions (print enough for each group of three students), device capable of presenting a video to the class, Pyramid reflection print-out (print one per student – optional).

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities, web research.

Keywords: Work skills, transferable skills, practice, time management.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Aspire-Ethan-scouts2-photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will be able to understand and practise some of the transferable skills they will need in many work situations. They will gain skills in recognising transferable skills, and be able to identify what transferable skills look like when they're done well. Students will then understand how to apply transferable skills in different contexts.

Teacher content information: This Work Studies unit has been developed in partnership with La Trobe University Aspire Generation. The Aspire Generation connects a community of young people who aspire to make a difference through community service and leadership. They are the givers, the dreamers, the doers and the leaders who passionately pursue opportunities to address the big issues of their time. They think boldly and act responsibly and strive to leave a lasting impact on the world.

Through classroom-based experiences students will learn about the world of work, as well as to trust themselve

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: All skills are learnable.

1. Note the transferable skills you are finding out about here:

2. Make some notes about what you find out about the transferable skills here:

3. There are many different experiences that we can have that help us to develop work skills. Formal work situations aren’t the only place that transferable work skills can be developed. An example of this is volunteering and community service, and the valuable transferable skills that can be learned. This clip features the experiences of Brianna, a young woman who volunteers as a lifeguard in northern Victoria. Through her community service contribution, Brianna was awarded a place at La Trobe University through the Aspire Program.

Aspire: Breanna (

4. After watching, list the transferable skills that are demonstrated by Breanna throughout the clip:


Complete the reflection pyramid below:

reflection pyramid

(Click here for printable version of the Pyrami

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