On 23-24 October 2013, the European Commission organised the "ESCO goes live" conference in Brussels. The conference officially launched version 0 of ESCO, the classification of European Skills/Competences, Qualifications and Occupations, and the ESCO Portal.

It is the first time that the European Skills / Competences, qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) is publically accessible. ESCO has been jointly created by European and national stakeholders and the European Commission with the aim to serve as a common language facilitating cooperation and dialogue between the world of education/training and labour market. ESCO identifies and categorises skills, competences, qualifications and occupations in a standard way, using standard terminology in all EU languages and an open format that can be used by third parties' software. It enables users to exchange CVs and job vacancies stored in different IT systems.

Realising the full potential of ESCO requires that the classification is linked with national systems. Practical applications based on ESCO were shown during the event to demonstrate the value of the classification and the conference offered an opportunity to discuss its value at the national level, and to exchange ideas with colleagues from more than 30 European countries. A wide range of stakeholders will took part in the conference: members of the ESCO management bodies, public and private employment services, representatives of employment and education ministries, international organisations, social partners, education and training actors as well as private experts.

Cedefop’s Director Mr James Calleja spoke to the ESCO stakeholders’ conference about the benefit of the multilingual classification of European skills, competences, qualifications and occupations (ESCO) for Cedefop’s work in key working areas (Europass, validation of learning outcomes, shift to learning outcomes in education and training and forecasting of skill supply and demand). According to Cedefop’s Director, ‘these areas lie at the heart of European cooperation in vocational education and training and lifelong learning; they can thus serve to illustrate why ESCO is relevant not only to employment services but also to the education and training system.’


ESCO website is available online at https://ec.europa.eu/esco.

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