European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan: inspiring organisations around the world to improve skills and employment

The team managing the European Classification of Occupations, Skills and Qualifications (ESCO) is working with governments and organisations around the world who are interested in using the taxonomy to help people showcase their skills and connect them with jobs and training opportunities.

Green and digital transitions are reshaping the way we live, work and interact and call for a shift in skill sets to reap their full potential. The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan adopted in March 2021 proposes three EU-headline targets in the area of employment, skills and social protection to be achieved by 2030. This will help turning the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights into reality. In the area of skills, the Action Plan foresees that by 2030 at least 60% of all adults in the EU should participate in training every year. The targets are consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and set the common ambition for a strong social Europe. The Pillar helps guiding the EU’s bilateral relations with external partners, including neighbourhood and enlargement countries, setting high social standards for which the EU stands.

It is in this context that the Commission discussed about the possible use of the European Classification of Occupations, Skills and Qualifications by Morocco and Israel and the potential this has for these countries.

The Commission organised an ESCO peer learning activity to support the Israeli Public employment Service in taking up ESCO.

On 29 April, the Commission organised its first ESCO peer learning activity with five stakeholders: the Israeli, German and Irish public employment services, the private ESCO implementer Certif-Id and the non-profit implementer Nesta.

The aim of the workshop was to allow for the exchange of knowledge accumulated by ESCO stakeholders around job-matching, career guidance and labour market analysis to support the public employment service of Israel in better understanding how ESCO can be leveraged in their system. The workshop brought together 40 participants.

During the workshop, the German Public Employment Service brought their perspective on using skills at national level for job-matching purposes as well as on the process of mapping the German national occupational taxonomy to ESCO within the exchange of information needed for the EURES network. The Irish Public Employment Service showcased how ESCO is used in the JobsIreland portal to deliver services to employers and job-seekers. Moreover, Certif-ID showcased how their platform is using ESCO to deliver services such as skills self-assessment tools, suggestions of job offerings based on skills gap and issuing secured, digital credentials for completed courses, using blockchain technology.

Finally, Nesta presented their project called Mapping career causeways where ESCO and O*Net are used to identify how workers in roles at risk due to automation can build on their existing skills and experience, and transition to more secure jobs. The presentation covered the methodology for recommending career transitions to more secure jobs as well as key findings from mapping the impact of automation risk on workers’ career transition opportunities. A user guide is freely available as well as the code used.

The Israeli Public Employment Service inquired about the use and accuracy of skills for job-matching, the challenges of mapping national taxonomies to ISCO and ESCO occupations as well as the potential of using labour market research to inform career choices and ensure job transitions.

Overall, the workshop was a good opportunity to exchange insights on challenges, benefits and best practices around using ESCO for specific cases and fostered a more connected community of ESCO implementers based on mutual learning and support.

ESCO presented to stakeholders of the project “Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa” (THAMM) in Morocco

On 22 April 2021, the Commission presented the ESCO to the stakeholders of the THAMM project in Morocco.

The project “Towards a Holistic Approach to Labour Migration Governance and Labour Mobility in North Africa” is funded by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is implemented in three countries: Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. The project aims to foster mutually beneficial safe, regular and orderly labour migration and mobility opportunities for North African countries and to strengthen protection for migrant workers (whether they are workers leaving the region or coming back to seek employment), as well as to provide capacity building for institutional actors. The implementing partners of the project are the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the German Development Agency (GIZ) and the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel).

The webinar was organised jointly by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Moroccan Ministry of Labour and Professional Integration and included the participation of the Delegation of the European Union to Morocco. The target audience were civil servants from ministries as well as officials from national institutions and social partners concerned with labour migration and the protection of workers.

The purpose of the webinar was to present the ESCO classification as well as concrete projects and applications that use ESCO in order to support the Moroccan institutions in adapting the governance mechanisms for labour migration in Morocco to the new international context. The webinar covered the following points:

The participants in the webinar exchanged questions and views around the different opportunities to align national qualifications to European standards, the challenges and benefits of using Artificial Intelligence for big data analysis of the labour market and the role of open data for better job-matching in complex labour migration systems.

If you are an ESCO implementer and want to share your feedback, please get in touch via email at EMPL-ESCO-SECRETARIAT@ec.europa.eu, use our hashtag #ESCO_EU and join our online forum.