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CIMO has together with a Helsinki-based think tank DEMOS Helsinki published a report “Hidden Competences”, which summarises the findings of a project that examined how Finnish employers rate the skills and knowledge acquired through international experiences in recruitment.
The aim of the project was also to gain a better understanding of employers’ views and expectations on international experiences. The findings show that many competences acquired through studying or working abroad are hidden, and that employers are not able to link the competences they require with people’s international experiences. Although students themselves are not always aware of the skills they acquire abroad, it appears that they overestimate the direct demand for international know-how and hold certain misconceptions about what is valued among employers. Still, international competences can be a powerful indicator to identify the qualities employers appreciate.
The report introduces an extended understanding of international competences. While language skills, cultural knowledge and tolerance have often been understood to be the basis of international competences, three new factors were now recognised. This extended understanding of international competences is productivity, resilience and curiosity. These three extensions depict current notions of employers in regards to what international competences could be perceived as. As a result, new ways of defining the learning outcomes of international mobility were suggested.