The ESI measures countries’ “distance to the ideal” performance. This ideal performance is chosen as the highest achieved by any country over a period of 7 years. The ideal performance is scaled to be 100 and the scores of all countries are then computed and compared to that. Basis of the ESI are 15 individual indicators from various international datasets. The scores are calculated across countries at the indicators’ level. The scores are then averaged at the various layers and finally the Index score is formed. To illustrate, an Index (or pillar, sub-pillar etc.) score of 65 suggests that the country has reached 65% of the ideal performance. Thus, there is still 35% (100-65) room for improvement. A score of 100 corresponds to achieving the ‘frontier’, that is an aspirational target performance for that indicator. A score of 0 corresponds to a lowest-case performance. This page shows specific information on the scores achieved by the chosen country across pillars, sub-pillars and indicators. Below, you can find a short commentary on country’s skills system performance over time and the ESI 2020 scores.


2022 scores and progress over time

The Netherlands has improved its position as it ranks 5th in the 2022 release compared to the 11th position in 2020. It has improved its ranking in all tree pillars compared to 2020. Despite the good score for the skills activation pillar, skills Development and the low score for the skills matching pillar places the Netherlands first in the “middle-achieving” countries group at EU level.

For the skills development pillar, the Netherlands ranks 6th. Despite the good score for “high digital skills” (rank 3th) and “VET students” (rank 6th), the Netherlands performs poorly in the basic education sub-pillar.

For the skills activation pillar, the Netherlands ranks 2nd, with the good performance in “early leavers rom training” (rank 5th) and high proportion of “recent graduates in employment” (rank 4th) score. The country has a lower activity rate for those aged 25-54 than might be expected (rank 15th), given the high youth activity rate (rank 5th).

For the skills matching pillar, the Netherlands ranks 17th. The Netherlands performs better for “long-term unemployment” (rank 4th) and relatively poor in “underemployed part-timers” (23rd).