Due to the innovative character of the ESCO project, the Commission wanted to ensure piloting and testing from an early stage. Thus, it developed a first pilot version of the classification based on the EURES classification. After some improvements, such as the upgrade to the newest version of the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), and a quality review in all ESCO languages, it was released as ESCO v0 on 23 October 2013.
In the years 2014 to 2016, public and private stakeholders tested ESCO demo datasets in various applications:
- In Academy Cube, EURES and a pilot project under the ISA programme ESCO supported online search and matching;
- In a joint pilot with four public employment services ESCO was mapped to national occupational classifications to test its suitability for data exchange across borders and languages;
- In a joint pilot with two public employment services ESCO was mapped to national skill classifications to test its suitability for data exchange across borders and languages;
- The Commission tested the collection of information on qualifications from different sources to build the qualifications pillar of ESCO, as well as the use of ESCO in labour market intelligence. Lessons learnt in the pilot projects fed directly back into the development of the ESCO classification;
- The Commission tested how ESCO could support the transfer of job vacancy information with LinkedIn. In this process the Commission aimed at testing the degree of information that would be captured by different partners in a structured way in the field of skills. To achieve this, a sample of LinkedIn skills was mapped to the ESCO classification.