“Essential skills” is a buzz-phrase that gets thrown around in corporate speak and in education.
What should people know?
It’s a tough question because “essential skills” keep changing. So what skills would be considered timeless?
Let’s try a thought experiment:
Our entire technological infrastructure goes down, as does our energy supply. We have no access to the comforts of progress, nor the ease of transportation.
What are the essential skills needed for survival?
Knowing how to grow food would be a top priority.
Knowing how to build shelter.
Knowing how to get access to water and filter it.
Knowing how to cooperate.
Knowing how to defend oneself from those who refuse to cooperate.
Once those are firmly established, other skills can be built upon them to rebuild what was lost.
For those who do not possess any of those skills, the benefit they could provide is a willingness to learn.
Those are essential skills that will never change.
Everything else is mere curiosity about what we’ve uncovered throughout history.