Skip to main content


How can ESCO be used in practice?

ESCO is an 'enabling tool' that can be used to provide different services in several business cases.


  • 1 Bridging the communication gap between education and work
  • 2 Online matching of people to jobs
  • 3 Enabling mobility
  • 4 Identifying training needs and supporting re-skilling and up-skilling
  • 5 Supporting skills intelligence, big data analyses and statistics
  • 6 ESCO use cases


Bridging the communication gap between education and work

The labour market is constantly evolving. The knowledgeskillscompetences and qualifications that people need to succeed in the labour market and to work in specific occupations changes over time. To cope with this, effective communication and dialogue between the labour market and the education and training sector is vital. To facilitate this dialogue, ESCO is a multi-lingual classification organised in three pillars. The pillars are interlinked to show the relationships between them.

ESCO will be published as Linked Open Data (LOD), meaning that developers can use it as a building block in applications providing services such as job matching, career guidance and self-assessment tools to citizens.

Online matching of people to jobs

Job matching is increasingly carried out on the web, allowing for a more efficient approach. Not only does online job matching provide job seekers with a wide range of relevant opportunities, it also helps employees to identify new career paths and show what transferable skills they have between occupations.

ESCO can enhance recruitment by contributing to better competence-based job matching. It does so, by:

  • Offering people the possibility of compiling CVs and vacancies using ESCO’s vocabulary in all ESCO languages, enabling them to exchange information across borders.
  • Providing a tool for the automated analysis and interpretation of semi-structured and unstructured data (CVs and vacancies).
  • Supporting competence-based job matching on the grounds of an individual’s work experience and qualifications, e.g. in EURES.
  • Showing how skills and competences developed in one occupation are applicable and transferable to another one, i.e. cross-sectoral skills and competences.


Enabling mobility

In almost all European countries, employment and career guidance services use different national classifications, IT systems and languages. All these variations hinder the cross-border exchange of data. Mapping national classification systems to ESCO increases semantic interoperability between them. ESCO translates information between different classification systems, functioning as a hub. By using ESCO, employment services will be able to exchange job vacancies, CVs and other meaningful information across the European Union. This will encourage occupational and regional mobility, reduce mismatches between labour market demand and supply and lower operating costs for employment service providers.

The new EURES Regulation provides a framework to support the cooperation across borders in order to enhance job mobility in the EU.

Identifying training needs and supporting re-skilling and up-skilling

ESCO can be used in tools that help users to identify their training needs. Such tools are based on a comparison between the knowledgeskill and competence profile of the user, and the expected profile for a successful transition or career development. The difference between these two are the training or up-skilling need. Digital systems can also support users in finding the appropriate learning opportunities such as training courses or MOOCs.

Skills profiles of users can be analysed based on CVs or on information that they provide directly in the system. The expected skills profile can for example be based on big data analyses, on a specific job vacancy or job role described by an employer or on an analysis of the career progression of other users.

Supporting skills intelligence, big data analyses and statistics

ESCO can facilitate the development of skills intelligence tools such as the EU Skills Panorama, that are analysing the supply and demand of skills. This includes the analysis of big data which can provide insights into the skills of the workforce and the skills requirements of employers.

ESCO use cases

Public and private stakeholders have been using ESCO in a substantial number of IT implementations covering a variety of areas like recruiting, matching skills to jobs and trainings, advertising job vacancies, career planning, documenting and mapping skills and qualifications of jobseekers and analysing the labour market:

  • ESCO is integrated in the EURES IT platform to support the automated matching of jobseekers' skills and job openings.
  • the EU Skills Profile for Third Country Nationals uses ESCO terminology for supporting the recognition of third country nationals' skills and competences.
  • in a joint pilot project with LinkedIn, ESCO was mapped against LinkedIn 'skills concepts in order to draw important conclusions on the existing differences between the two skills list.
  • the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) used ESCO skills to create and refine job vacancies and job descriptions and assess employee's skills levels.
  • Milch & Zucker used ESCO for its job matching services.
  • Openskimr integrated ESCO terminology when building its algorithm for career planning services.
  • Textkernel integrated ESCO in a standard product for semantic recruitment technology.
  • Docebo uses ESCO terminology for the provision of e-learning services.
  • the Public Employment Service of Iceland is using ESCO in the revamp of its national online job platform.
  • Cedefop is using ESCO as a reference for big data analysis of skills supply and demands of the labour market.
  • House of Skills uses ESCO to provide skills-based job matching, identify important skills gaps and offer sustainable career paths and enable employers to search for candidates based on skills needs.