To find out more about the skills needed for jobs and how they are used, as well as about skill mismatch, Cedefop has started collecting data for the first European Skills Survey. Around 50,000 adult employees across all the European Union’s 28 Member States will be surveyed precisely to find out the extent of skill mismatch and how it can develop during someone’s career.

Most of the skills you need for your current job you will develop in the first five years of working in it. After that, although you will continue to learn, the pace of learning slows down. This, of course, varies from job to job.

The level of skills required is more likely to remain the same for people working in elementary jobs than, for example, professionals in health care where rapid changes in technology may require new skills. But the importance of developing particular skills throughout a person’s career and how they match with the changing demands of their jobs has implications for skill mismatch. Whatever its cause, skill mismatch, represents a significant loss of investment in people and has important economic and well-being costs for enterprises and individuals.

The survey will also examine causes of skill mismatch and the extent to which initial and continuous vocational training can address the problem. It will detect changing education and skill needs in different occupations and assess the extent to which several basic and generic skills of individuals are valued in the job market. Cedefop will present the survey’s findings in 2015.