Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey (ESJS) has revealed that about 45% of EU adult workers believe that their skills can either be better developed or utilised at work. European policy that mitigates skill mismatch can thus be conducive to raising productivity and improving worker well-being.

But better matching a country’s skill supply to the needs of its economy is a dynamic process that requires policies to increase education and training responsiveness to labour market needs. Mitigating skill mismatch in an era of fast-paced digitalisation, AI and automation requires a well-developed skills anticipation infrastructure in countries and an integrative approach to skills governance.

Governance of skills anticipation and matching: Supporting EU countries

Cedefop provides technical advice to countries asking for its support to improve their ‘governance of skills anticipation and matching’. Skills governance refers to the process of putting in place appropriate institutions, operational processes and dissemination channels that may facilitate stakeholder interaction and a virtuous feedback loop between VET and the labour market, based on reliable labour market and skills intelligence.

Since 2016 Cedefop has worked together with several European countries (Malta, Iceland, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia and Slovenia) to identify country-specific challenges, bottlenecks and policy solutions for achieving effective skills governance.

Cedefop’s skills governance framework

To effectively carry out the country reviews, Cedefop has developed a comprehensive skills governance analytical framework that identifies key elements of well-functioning systems of skill needs anticipation in countries. On the basis of this generic framework, Cedefop, in close consultation with National Steering Committees comprised of key Ministries and stakeholders in each country, refine and customise the framework so as to address national-specific priorities and challenges. Cedefop subsequently deploys additional methodological tools (stakeholder interviews, focus groups, Delphi methods) to collect in-depth information and facilitate policy consensus among national stakeholders.

Country reviews for four EU Member States (Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, and Slovakia) have been successfully completed and are available for download.

Research and tools on skills anticipation and skill mismatch

  • Methods for skills anticipation and matching

Cedefop’s long-standing research on methodologies of skills anticipation and tools to obtain skills intelligence has informed EU policymakers and underpins the European Commission’s 2020 Skills Agenda.

Cedefop, in collaboration with the ILO and ETF, published a series of Methodological guides to anticipating and matching skills and jobstargeted at EU policymakers and decision-makers.

Cedefop will also be publishing soon a series of practical guides on understanding technological change and impact on skill needs.

  • Research and evidence on skill mismatch

Cedefop has undertaken over the past decade in-dept research on skill mismatch, focused on:

  • New data on skill mismatch

To inform its evidence on skill mismatch, Cedefop has carried out two waves of the European skills and jobs survey (ESJS). The survey offers unique insights into the drivers of skill development and mismatch in relation to the changing skill needs (e.g. digitalisation) of European workers’ jobs.

Cedefop’s Matching skills online tool also showcases a collection of policy instruments from EU Member States that use information on labour market trends and anticipated skill needs to inform and shape upskilling and skills matching policies for the current and future world of work.

    Other related reading (co)authored by Cedefop:


    The Matching Skills database

    • 126 current skills policies
    • 31 anticipating future skills policies
    • 28 countries
    • overview across countries