The ESCO classification is published in SKOS-RDF and CSV formats, in order to enable users to integrate it into their applications and services.
The ESCO classification is composed of modules that contain elements such as occupations, knowledge, skills and competences, qualifications, and the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) hierarchy. When combined and interrelated, these modules make up the whole classification.
There are three main types of module:
- Core modules hold the actual ESCO concepts (occupations, skills, etc.) along with their Unique Resource Identifiers (URIs).
- Linking modules provide links between two or more modules, at least one of which is a core module. An example is the relationship between occupations and skills.
- Supporting modules enrich the core modules with supporting classification schemes such as ISCO-08.
ESCO contains language packs, which are published separately, and each module is available in 26 European languages and in Arabic. The full list of languages covered by ESCO is:
- Bulgarian (bg)
- Spanish (es)
- Czech (cs)
- Danish (da)
- German (de)
- Estonian (et)
- Greek (el)
- English (en)
- French (fr)
- Irish (ga)
- Croatian (hr)
- Italian (it)
- Latvian (lv)
- Lithuanian (lt)
- Hungarian (hu)
- Maltese (mt)
- Dutch (nl)
- Polish (pl)
- Portuguese (pt)
- Romanian (ro)
- Slovak (sk)
- Slovenian (sl)
- Finnish (fi)
- Swedish (sv)
- Icelandic (is)
- Norwegian (no)
- Arabic (ar)
Application Programming Interface
The European Commission is offering access to ESCO through an Application Programming Interface (API) – a tool for developers to access data and services in order to build all sorts of applications quickly and competently.
ESCO currently provides a service API that is a version of the ESCO API accessible through the internet. In the near future, ESCO will provide a downloadable version of the ESCO API, allowing the software to be used locally on a computer.
ESCO as Linked Open Data
ESCO is published as Linked Open Data (LOD) so it can be easily reused and linked to other data sources.
Using the Linked Open Data method helps users to:
- easily integrate data into their existing IT systems;
- link to other data;
- ensure that the data is well managed and quality-assured before publication;
- ensure that continuously updating the data doesn’t lead to high administrative costs.
ESCO is developed and published using a data model that complies with the following principles:
- A clear scope: each occupation, knowledge, skill and competence in ESCO is clearly established and defined in its description and/or scope note.
- Unique concept identifiers: each occupation, knowledge, skill and competence in ESCO is identified by a string of characters that follows a specific syntax: the URI.
- Backward compatibility: URIs remain consistent over a prolonged period.
ESCO continuous improvement process
The Commission services have set up a process to continuously improve the ESCO classification and keep it up-to-date when new versions are released. Through this process, the Commission can see how the classification behaves in different business cases (e.g. job matching, big data analysis, CV creation), identify what needs to be improved and implement changes.
Further technical documentation can be found in the ESCO portal correspondent section and on ESCOpedia.