What is it about?

The labour market is constantly evolving. Skills, competences, and qualifications that people need change over time. To deal with these changes people need to be equipped with a variety of basic skills, including literacy, numeracy, foreign languages, science and digital skills.

Transversal skills, such as the ability to learn and initiative-taking, will help people deal with today's varied and unpredictable career paths. Entrepreneurial skills will help contribute to employability of young people in particular, as well as supporting new business creation

Furthermore it is important to better identify and manage the availability of required skills, competences, and qualifications, and to help preventing skills gaps and mismatches. Effective communication between the labour market and the education and training sector is vital.

What has been done so far?

European initiatives for developing skills:

  • The Rethinking Education initiative provides concrete advice as to how member countries can invest in skills for better socio-economic outcomes.
  • A recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning was adopted in 2006 to support EU countries in fostering the development  of key competences for all as part of their lifelong learning strategies. In January 2018, the European Commission proposed an up-date to this recommendation.
  • The Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs is a multi-stakeholder partnership to tackle the lack of ICT skills and the thousands of unfilled ICT-related vacancies.
  • The Entrepreneurship 2020 Action plan is a blueprint for decisive action to unleash Europe's entrepreneurial potential, to remove existing obstacles, and to revolutionise the culture of entrepreneurship in Europe.

European initiatives for managing the availability of required skills:

  • ESCO is the multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications, and Occupations. It introduces a standard terminology in 25 European languages and categorises skills, competences, qualifications and occupations relevant for the EU labour market and education and training
  • The European Skills Panorama helps regular monitoring of skills anticipation and skills assessment at the national and European level. It is a central access point providing data, information and intelligence on skills trends in occupations and sectors at the national and EU level

What are the next steps?

  • Constantly adapting ESCO to the reality of labour market and education and training
  • Implementation of ESCO in the Europass CV, EU Skills Panorama, and EURES
  • On-going monitoring of the skills trends and demand – EU Skills Panorama