What is ESCO?

The European ESCO (European skills / competences, qualifications and occupations) system identifies and categorises skills, competences, qualifications and occupations in a standard way, using standard terminology in all EU languages and a format that can be used by third party software. It enables users to exchange CVs and job vacancies stored in different IT systems. The multilingual ESCO classification is composed of descriptors linking occupations, skills / competences and qualifications and linked to relevant international classifications and frameworks, such as NACE, ISCO and EQF.

The ESCO system is being extended through projects such as the European e-Skills match to support individuals training for acquiring the necessary e-Skills and digital competences and for companies to stay competitive within the ICT sector.

The e-Skills Match platform classifies ICT skills and digital competences using ESCO, and the identified skills are linked to the qualifications required for each occupation in the ICT sector. At the same time, the skills are matched with open learning and training courses that will help learners acquire missing skills and competences.

ESCO has been developed as a single framework encompassing the 28 countries of the European Union. One motivation for developing the system is to support mobility among workers in the European Union.

Besides supporting mobility of Labor and of jobs, the adoption of international standards, or of standards which can provide international equivalences, allows closer economic planning and cooperation and allows for comparison between Labour markets in different countries.

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