In the very dynamic labour market of today, timely understanding employers’ skills needs is crucial. Individuals need this information to help them with career and lifelong learning decisions. Employment services and guidance counsellors can use it to devise training measures for shortage occupations and assess individual training needs, and training providers to design training programmes aligned with current labour market demand. Finally, policy-makers will find it useful to detect skill mismatch and new emerging skills. However, comparable and high quality data on skills demand by employers across the EU do not exist.
Over the last decade, the usage and importance of online job vacancies platforms significantly increased. The Internet has therefore become a rich source of real-time labour market information on skills demand by employers, which is now accessible thanks to technological advances in big data collection and analysis. The European Commission has highlighted the collection and analysis of big data as one of the priority action of the New Skills Agenda for Europe.
Taking these developments as a backdrop, Cedefop is joining forces with Eurostat and DG EMPL to develop a fully -fledged EU-wide system to collect and analyse data on skill demand using online job postings. Cedefop has already developed a prototype multilingual system and successfully tested it in five countries (UK, DE, CZ, IT, IRL) and is now refining the tool. First data will be released in 2018 and the EU system will be fully operational end 2020.