Skills are a key driver of labour market success, competitiveness and social inclusion for individuals, enterprises and societies. High-level skills are not only a prerequisite for employment, higher wages, productivity, innovation and continued economic growth; they also empower individuals to be active and productive members of society.

Skills, however, need to keep up with rapid technological progress, organizational change in the workplace and labour market change. At the same time, there is a growing concern with the so-called gaps between the skills provided by education and training systems, the needs of the current and future labour markets, and the extent to which such skill mismatches are a cause of high young unemployment rates. There is also growing evidence about the fact that the skills of EU employees are underused in workplaces that do not fully harness people’s potential.

The aim of this workshop was to bring together researchers working on the issues of skills and skill mismatch. Topics included (but were not limited to):

  • Trends in educational and skill mismatches
  • Skill shortages and the impact of skill mismatches for enterprises
  • Job search, job quality and skill/educational mismatch
  • Economic and welfare (e.g. job satisfaction) consequences of skill/educational mismatch for individuals, firms and macro economies
  • Technological progress/ organizational change and skills utilization (and mismatch)
  • The relation of job tasks and skill utilization
  • Labour market mobility and skill mismatch
  • Impact of wage systems and working conditions on skill mismatch
  • Gender differences in cognitive and non-cognitive skills
  • Training provision, skills development and skill mismatch
  • Impact of the business cycle and of economic recessions on skill mismatch

A selection of papers presented at the workshop were considered for publication in a special volume of the journal Research in Labor Economics (RLE).

Access to european skills and job survey

Authors of accepted papers could request early access to the Cedefop European Skills and Jobs Survey conditional on committing to submit a scientific paper that made use of the data for presentation at the workshop and subject to agreeing to the terms-of-use as stated in a confidentiality agreement which needed to be signed prior to receipt of the microdata.

The European Skills and Jobs Survey was a new cross-sectional dataset collected by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in April-June 2014. The survey collected information on the skills, jobs and skill mismatch over time of about 49,000 adult employees in the 28 EU Member States. For more information on the survey click here.

Event details

Event Date(s)
29/10/2015 - 30/10/2015
Event Type
Event venue
Restricted participation
Cedefop involvement


Agenda of the workshop



Konstantinos Pouliakas
Giovanni Russo