How can ESCO be used in practice?


ESCO is an 'enabling tool' that can be used to provide different services in several business cases.

Bridging the communication gap between education and work

The labour market is constantly evolving. The knowledge, skills, competences and qualifications that people need to succeed in the labour market and to work in specific occupations changes over time. To cope with this, effective communication and dialogue between the labour market and the education and training sector is vital. To facilitate this dialogue, ESCO is a multi-lingual classification organised in three pillars. The pillars are interlinked to show the relationships between them.

ESCO will be published as Linked Open Data (LOD), meaning that developers can use it as a building block in applications providing services such as job matching, career guidance and self-assessment tools to citizens.

Online matching of people to jobs

Job matching is increasingly carried out on the web, allowing for a more efficient approach. Not only does online job matching provide job seekers with a wide range of relevant opportunities, it also helps employees to identify new career paths and show what transferable skills they have between occupations.

ESCO can enhance recruitment by contributing to better competence-based job matching. It does so, by:

  • Offering people the possibility of compiling CVs and vacancies using ESCO’s vocabulary in all ESCO languages, enabling them to exchange information across borders.
  • Providing a tool for the automated analysis and interpretation of semi-structured and unstructured data (CVs and vacancies).
  • Supporting competence-based job matching on the grounds of an individual’s work experience and qualifications, e.g. in EURES.
  • Showing how skills and competences developed in one occupation are applicable and transferable to another one, i.e. cross-sectoral skills and competences.

Enabling mobility

In almost all European countries, employment and career guidance services use different national classifications, IT systems and languages. All these variations hinder the cross-border exchange of data. Mapping national classification systems to ESCO increases semantic interoperability between them. ESCO translates information between different classification systems, functioning as a hub. By using ESCO, employment services will be able to exchange job vacancies, CVs and other meaningful information across the European Union. This will encourage occupational and regional mobility, reduce mismatches between labour market demand and supply and lower operating costs for employment service providers.

The new EURES Regulation provides a framework to support the cooperation across borders in order to enhance job mobility in the EU.

Supporting re-skilling and up-skilling

Since requirements on the labour market are constantly changing, people need to develop their skills throughout their working lives. With its occupational profiles ESCO can help to identify training needs, e.g. skills that are frequently demanded by employers but that a candidate is missing. It can also support the search for relevant learning opportunities, such as training courses or MOOCs.

Supporting skills intelligence, big data analyses and statistics

ESCO can facilitate the development of skills intelligence tools such as the EU Skills Panorama, that are analysing of the supply and demand of skills. This includes the analysis of big data which can provide insights into the skills of the workforce and the skills requirements of employers.