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Many of the skills Europe needs for sustainable economic recovery will be learned at work. According to Cedefop’s new European skills and jobs survey, to overcome skill mismatches, more and better jobs that invest in people’s skills are needed.

Employees face a constant challenge to learn new things to keep up with rapidly changing skill demands. The survey, the first pan-European on skill mismatch, finds that almost half (47%) of EU adult workers have seen the technologies they use change since they started their job; 21% also consider it very likely that several of their skills will become outdated in the next five years. Many of these workers are professionals and technicians occupied in fast-evolving sectors, such as ICT and financial services. But change does not only affect high-skilled workers; the majority of employees in semi-skilled occupations have also seen their jobs require a greater variety of tasks since they started them. Launched in 2014, Cedefop’s survey asked 49 000 adult employees (aged 24 to 65) across all 28 Member States how their skills and qualifications match the needs of their jobs. The ESJ survey is the first to look at skill mismatch over time, taking account of changes to people’s skills and their job tasks.