Find here key and commonly used skills-related terms and concepts with their definitions.



A statistical classification of economic activities in the European Union. The present NACE version is Rev. 2, which is the new revised version of the NACE Rev. 1 and of its minor update NACE Rev. 1.1. NACE 1.1 classifies economic activities into broad 17 sectors, which are sub-divided into further 41 sub-sectors. NACE rev. 2 classifies economic activities into broad 21 sectors, which are sub-divided into further 63 sectors. For more information see


Young people neither in employment nor in education and training (NEET) – calculated as the percentage of the population of a given age group (usually 15-24) who are not employed and not involved in further education or training


Numeracy is defined as the ability to access, use, reason, understand, interpret and communicate mathematical information and ideas in order to engage in and manage the demands of a range of situations in adult life (see Literacy)

Obsolescence (skills obsolescence)

Situations where the skills previously required in the labour market are no longer required or their importance has been reduced

Off-the-job training

Training and development activities away from the individual’s immediate workplace, whether on the company’s premises or elsewhere

On-the-job training

Informal training and development activities that occur in the workplace of an individual


Circumstances in the labour market where a person has a higher qualification level than required by their current job (see Underqualification)


Circumstances in the labour market where a person has more skills than required by their current job and their skills are not fully utilised (see Underskilling)


Public Employment Services – public sector employment agencies which provide information, placement and active support services to unemployed, job seekers and employers looking for staff.

Regulated profession

An occupation (or group of occupations) access to which, and the practice of which (or to one of its forms) is regulated by legislative, regulatory and/or administrative provisions concerning the possession of specific qualifications required to practice the occupation For occupations regulated in the EU see:

School-to-work transition

The process of moving from education or training to employment, covering the period in which this change takes place


A group of companies with the same main economic activity (e.g. construction) (see NACE)

Sector-specific skills

Particular or specialised skills necessary to do particular jobs in specific sectors (see Job-specific skills)

Shortage (skills shortage)

Situation in labour market where the demand for particular type of skills is higher than the supply of workers with that type of skill