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


Early leavers from education and training

Percentage of the population aged 18-24 having attained at most lower secondary education and not being involved in further education or training

Early school leavers

Individuals below the statutory school-leaving age who left an education or training programme without completing such programme

education or training pathway

Set of related education or training programmes provided by schools, training centres, higher education institutions or VET providers, which eases the progression of individuals within or between activity sectors.

Educational attainment

The highest level or degree of education that an individual has completed


Combination of factors (such as job-specific skills, soft skills) which enable individuals to progress towards or enter into employment, stay in employment and progress during their careers

Entrepreneurial initiative

Narrow definition: An individual’s creative capacity to turn ideas into action, for a commercial or non-commercial objective Broad definition: A sense of initiative and entrepreneurship that refers to an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action. It includes creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives. This supports individuals, not only in their everyday lives at home and in society, but also in the workplace in being aware of the context of their work and being able to seize opportunities, and is a foundation for more specific skills and knowledge needed by those establishing or contributing to social or commercial activity.

Environmental awareness skills

Environmental awareness skills refer to the knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes [in the general population] needed to live in, develop and support a society which reduces the impact of human activity on the environment. These generic ‘green’ skills include the capacity to include environmental concerns alongside others (such performance and safety) in taking decisions, including in the choice of processes and technologies.


European Qualifications Framework – a policy initiative to relate different countries' national qualifications systems to a common European reference framework. The levels of national qualifications will be placed at one of the central reference levels, ranging from basic (Level 1) to advanced (Level 8). For more information see


A network of the Public Employment Services (PESs) of the European Union/European Economic Area, offering services to job-seekers and employers. For more information see

European Comission (2007)

Key Competences for Lifelong Learning a European Framework. Luxenbourg: Office for Offical Publications of the European Communities.

European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network, ELGPN


Eurostat, Statistical definitions of education statistics.