5 Policy Themes

Policy themes are thematic dashboards that provide comprehensive view of skills supply, demand and matching across the EU. You can explore the Cedefop’s European Skills Index or look at the key information you need to know about people and their skills, future jobs, matching of skills and jobs and the labour market context.

European Skills Index

The potential workforce of a country is determined not only by the education and skills in the population, but also by the extent that skills are activated and effectively matched in the labour market, i.e. through successful transition to work, participation in the labour force, employment and matching between skills and jobs. The measuring of performance of EU Member States' in skills developmentactivation and matching systems is a task of Cedefop's European Skills Index. 

The European Skills Index is a composite index comprised of three pillars, each of which measures a different aspect of a country's skills formation and matching system. These pillars are used to organise and aggregate 22 individual indicators that measure the performance of different parts of the skills formation and matching system.

  • Pillar 1 'Development' measures training and education activities
  • Pillar 2 'Activation' measures the transition of people into work, and participation in the labour market
  • Pillar 3 'Matching' measures the degree of successful matching of skills, that is the extent to which skills are effectively matched in the labour market.
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People and Skills

This theme provides evidence on the supply of skills in the EU. It offers data on qualification levels possesed by employed population. It also brings analysis on literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills of the active population, and identifies pupils’ performance in important subjects; such as reading, mathematics and science.

The People and Skills theme draws also on data that are not available for all EU Member States, such as PIAAC and PISA and, thus, the country filtering option is not relevant for all Member States.



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Matching Skills and Jobs

Matching Skills and Jobs provides a series of indicators on skills and labour market mismatches. Skills related indicators allow you to gauge the extent of under-utilisation of skills, under-skilling or skills obsolescence among employees in the EU. For example the under-utilization of skills means that employees report that they have higher skills that required to perform their current job. Other indicators refer to labour market mismatches such as the long-term unemployment rate or number of young people not in employment, education or training.

Weak employment demand in Europe is increasing competition for jobs and people are more willing to accept jobs which do not match their level of qualification. Matching Skills and Jobs aims to highlight and capture such mismatches in the European labour market.

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Future Jobs

Future Jobs describes the demand for people to work in various types of jobs, along with information about the skills required. It provides data on employment by occupations; how it changed over time and is projected to evolve up to 2030.

Information is also provided about the qualifications held by people in employment. The nature of jobs in Europe has changed over time – and so has the demand for skills. Some jobs have moved abroad, some have been automated, new jobs, requiring news sets of skills, have been created. The lion’s share of job opportunities between now and 2030 will be needed to replace people who will leave the labour market, mainly to retire.

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Labour Market Context

The information available under Labour Market Context examines a range of labour market and economic indicators, such as the employment rate and the GDP, providing you with the all-important context to assess skill needs.

Conditions in various European economies and labour markets will explain much about the demand for, and supply of skills. For instance, employment levels are significantly determined by the economic cycle: if economic growth is strong with employment rising rapidly, you may expect – other things being equal –an increase in skill demand. Following the economic crisis, economic recovery has been slow but fairly resilient and widespread across Member States, yet with considerable variation. Nonetheless, in the EU, employment is forecast to surpass the 2008 pre-crisis level only in 2020.

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