Cedefop has been working on developing a skills index since 2013. Following five years of continuous development, the European Skills Index (ESI) has been launched in the autumn of 2018. An independent statistical audit by the Joint Research Centre has established ESI within international standards for its statistical quality.

Traditionally a skills system was considered in terms of the outputs of the educational system. However, a skills system is more than that. In particular, there are three key dimensions that need consideration; these are: (a) skills development; (b) skills activation; and (c) skills matching. These are areas capturing different aspects of a country’s skills system. Skills development represents the education and training activities taking place in a country, and their direct outputs in terms of skills developed and attained. Skills activation assesses the transition from education to the labour market, and skills’ matching investigates the extent to which skills are effectively utilised at work and at the labour market in general.

Overall, ESI measures the comparative performance of EU countries’ individual skills system and performance in each pillar, sub-dimensions, and individual indicators. A skills system has no particular owner, thus the results of ESI’s assessment are targeted towards different audiences, including policy makers, educational providers, employers and employees. Knowledge of a skills system’ weak spots and areas for improvement can aid choices to be made towards the right direction.

Find out more about the European Skills Index and see how your country performs here.

Read the new blog on the European Skills Index, explaining Europe’s Skills Systems in terms of skills development, activation, and matching.