Cedefop’s analysis of real-time labour market information was presented by expert Alena Zukersteinova at a conference on adapting to changing skill needs organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris on 10 July.

The event was centred on the policy relevance and potential use of skill needs indicators to steer the planning and provision of education, lifelong learning and on-the-job training.

About 100 key stakeholders and practitioners in the area of skills assessment and management, including policy-makers, employers, unions, training providers and academics, took part.

Ms Zukersteinova participated in the final panel which discussed remaining knowledge gaps to develop a roadmap going forward. Her input focused on skill requirements based on job vacancies and what role Cedefop’s analysis of real-time labour market information could have in the context of assessing skill needs.

Cedefop is joining forces with Eurostat and DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion to develop a full-fledged EU-wide system to collect and analyse data on skill demand using online job postings. First data will be released in 2018 and the system will be fully operational by the end of 2020.

Ms Zukersteinova stressed the project’s potential: ‘Although useful and relevant, high-quality data on skills demand by employers across the EU do not exist. Methodological complexity and high costs are key obstacles to an EU-wide survey of employers on skill needs. In addition, survey data suffer from significant time lags (up to two years) between collection and final results. The real-time dimension of this new type of data becomes, therefore, very important as it can provide a picture of how employer demand looked like as recently as yesterday. The information collected from online job postings will allow identifying skills and job requirements typically requested across occupations as well as new and emerging jobs and skills. It will fill an important gap in the EU evidence on skill needs, i.e. the skills demand of employers.’