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The European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey, the first survey on skill mismatch carried out in the EU28 Member States, examines drivers of skill development and the dynamic evolution of skill mismatch in relation to the changing complexity of the tasks and skills required in people’s jobs.

The survey detects education and skill needs in different occupations and sectors and assesses the extent to which basic, digital and transversal skills of individuals are valued in the job market. It also investigates the capacity of initial (e.g. work-based learning) and continuing vocational education and training to mitigate skill mismatch.

Cedefop’s European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey is the first survey on skill mismatch carried out in 2014 in all EU28 Member States. The survey has revealed that about 30% of European employees possess qualifications that are not well-matched to those required by their jobs, while about 45% of EU adult workers believe that their skills can be better developed or utilised at work. European policy that mitigates skill mismatch can thus be conducive to raising the productivity of EU enterprises and improving worker well-being.

The reports ‘Insights  into skill shortages and skill mismatch: Learning from Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey’ and ‘Skills, qualifications and jobs: the making of a perfect match?’ contain a comprehensive analysis of the ESJ data and derive key policy messages. 

The #ESJsurvey Insights are short analytical research pieces that use the data of the Cedefop European skills and jobs survey to explore issues of contemporary policy importance (e.g. digitalisation and automation, skill gaps and mismatches of EU workforce, challenges for EU Skills Agenda etc.).

Key statistics and indicators from the ESJ survey are available in the Skills Panorama

The microdata of Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey are publicly available and can be downloaded for free (in SPSS format), conditional on completion of an online access registration form. Interested researchers and analysts can also consult the full questionnaire of the ESJ survey or view a schematic representation of the ESJ structure. Cedefop debated the findings of the ESJ survey during the high-level conference ‘Maximising skills for jobs and jobs for skills’ that took place 7-8 December 2015.

A selected number of peer-reviewed academic studies based on the ESJ data has been published as special Cedefop-IZA issue Vol. 45 ‘Skill mismatch in labour markets’ at the journal Research in Labor Economics.

An online open Masterclass on ‘Skills Mismatch in Labour Markets’, consisting of nine thematic videos outlining Cedefop’s research and analysis on skill mismatch, including evidence from Cedefop’s European skills and jobs survey, is also publicly available for viewing.

Enter the debate regarding the policy implications of the survey at twitter #ESJsurvey or facebook.

Project contacts

Konstantinos Pouliakas
Mr Marco Serafini

Project details