The European skills and jobs survey (ESJS) is Cedefop’s own periodic EU-wide survey aimed at collecting information on the skill requirements, skill mismatches and initial and continuing learning of adult workers in EU labour markets.

Carried out in all EU Member States, the ESJS aims to be a valuable resource to inform EU policy development on vocational education and training and particularly the European Skills Agenda.

The first wave of the ESJS was carried out in 2014 while its second wave was carried out in 2021.

The ESJS aims to provide robust information from representative samples of adult workers on a set of core variables, including:

  • sociodemographic characteristics;
  • job characteristics;
  • job-skill requirements (literacy, numeracy, digital, analytical, manual and interpersonal skills);
  • skill mismatches (vertical; horizontal; mismatches in specific skills; skill gaps and deficits; skill mismatch transitions);
  • initial and continuing vocational education and training participation;
  • labour market outcomes (wages, job insecurity, job satisfaction).

The ESJS aims to provide a flexible survey instrument for extracting timely estimates on issues of significant policy interest, by adding or improving modules in individual waves. A first ESJS wave, carried out in the context of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, collected comprehensive contextual information about the incidence and reasons underlying the emergence of skill mismatches in EU job markets.

The 2nd ESJS wave aims to inform the policy debate on the impact of new digital technologies and technological change on the future of work and skills, also in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The focus of the ESJS2 is on the relationship between technological change, changing job-skill requirements and skill mismatch of EU adult workers and their adaptiveness to such trends via remedial vocational education and training.

Cedefop develops the ESJS instrument primarily with in-house expertise and resources and also in cooperation with technical and policy expert groups, comprised of leading skills experts from EU universities as well as the European Commission (DG EMPL), JRC, Eurofound, OECD and EIB.

Cedefop aims to periodically undertake the ESJS at a regular 5-6-year cycle, to capture structural developments in the bridge between the worlds of work and education.

More information about each survey may be found below.

First European skills and jobs survey (ESJS)

Second European skills and jobs survey (ESJS2)