Table of contents


Skills shortages in certain sectors and occupations create recruitment difficulties for employers, while a substantial proportion of the EU work force are not in jobs that match their skills or qualifications.

Key facts:

  • Even as the EU economy has been recovering from the recession of 2008, unemployment has continued to rise. However, despite the 27 million unemployed workers in the EU, in 2013, four out of ten European employers reported difficulties in finding employees with the right skills.
  • Recruitment difficulties are partly related to a lack of available skills, but are also explained by unattractive working conditions, low pay, high labour turnover, lack of mobility and inadequate recruitment practices by firms. These tend to be most apparent in the health, ICT, engineering and business service sectors.
  • Around a third of employers attribute their recruitment difficulties to a lack of technical skills and overall lack of candidates, while more than a fifth of employers are concerned about the lack of work experience and ‘soft’ skills among job applicants.
  • Only 57% of EU employees were in a job that matched their skills in 2010. In some countries, recovery is being driven by highly-qualified individuals being recruited to low-skilled jobs, resulting in rising levels of ‘over-qualification’.

The full text of the Analytical highlight can be downloaded from the link below:

PDF icon EUSP_AH_SkillsChallenges.pdf193.46 KB