By Jiri Branka and Jasper van Loo


A new skills intelligence tool

After several years of development, Cedefop has recently released first results of its work on collecting and analysing online job vacancies. Over 32 million unique vacancies have been collected from more than 50 thousand vacancy websites in Czechia, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. Results for other EU countries, based on an additional 20 million unique vacancies, will be released in the coming months. The vacancy websites include private and public job portals, recruitment agencies, online newspapers and employer websites.

The classification of European skills, competences, qualifications and occupations (ESCO) and complex big data analysis techniques were used to extract information on most required skills and jobs across countries and regions of Europe.

Skills intelligence based on online vacancies is much more detailed than what can typically be obtained using traditional surveys and data sources. Thanks to the millions of observations and advanced tools to analyse these it is possible to dig deep into what jobs and skills employer demand in different countries and regions. Cedefop provides the analysis for more than 400 occupations and 1500 skills.

Firsts insights

Analysing online vacancies shows that most jobs demand is for high-skilled occupations (see Figure 1). This is especially true in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where the share of high-skilled jobs in online job vacancies is above 70 per cent. In other countries, medium to low-skilled occupations represent higher share of online job offers – reaching over 55 per cent in Czechia and Italy.

Figure 1: The first release  

  The first release

Source: Cedefop Skills Ovate (accessed: June 2019), authors calculations.

In its analysis, Cedefop looks also at how jobs demand varies across countries. One of the visualizations compares how intensively employers post online vacancies for different occupations. For example software developers, one of the most offered jobs via online channels, are much more in demand in the United Kingdom and Spain that in Germany or Czechia. In Ireland, 1 in 22 online job vacancies asks for a software developer; in Czechia it is only 1 in 42.

Figure 2: Skills and jobs across countries

 Skills and jobs across countries

Source: Cedefop Skills Ovate (accessed: June 2019), authors calculations.

Skills analysis based on online job postings can also help shed light on how portable skills are across different jobs and this does not only concern soft skills. Cedefop’s visualizations show that, for example, data analysis skills are important in many different occupations, ranging from financial analysts and chemists to database specialists and medical lab technicians.

Currently, the analysis of online job vacancies across economy sectors is being finalised and will be published soon. Professional services – architectural and engineering services, R&D, advertising or market research – advertise most online job vacancies, followed by manufacturing and administrative services.

Figure 3: Online vacancies by economy sectors

 Online vacancies by economy sectors

Source: Cedefop Skills Ovate (accessed: June 2019), authors calculations.

Sectoral analysis will also be available on a country level and will also present top jobs demanded in each sector. For example, manufacturing sector is strongest in Czechia, Italy and Germany, where it represents around a quarter of online job vacancies analysed. The job demand in manufacturing is dominated by skilled manual and elementary jobs.

Figure 4: Sector example: Manufacturing in online job vacancies

 Manufacturing in online job vacancies

Source: Cedefop Skills Ovate (accessed: June 2019), authors calculations.

More is to come – stay tuned!

Results for 11 additional countries will become available in July 2019, while the remaining EU Member States will be added in December 2019 (see Figure 5). Further analysis will be developed on the regional level, including skills most asked for. Skills OVATE will also look into educational and experience requirements in online job vacancies.

Figure 5: Future milestones

 Future milestones

Source: Authors. Note: June update will bring following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. December update will bring Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovenia.

In 2020, Cedefop will release tailor-made visualizations to satisfy needs of various user groups – ranging from policy makers to career guidance counsellors. Together with Eurostat and the European Commission, the focus will be on further improving the quality and coverage of vacancy data and bringing it into the family of the European Statistical System. Cooperation with the ESCO team will help improve skills and occupational classifications. It is also an ambition to use online vacancies to understand better where new skills and jobs emerge.

Moreover, a Data Lab will be developed to allow researchers and third party application developers to access the vacancy micro data, so that they can use this unique source of skills and labour market trends and develop new insights and tools.

Have a look at Cedefop’s Skills-OVATE tool and Skills Panorama to see which jobs and skills are in mostly requested in European countries!