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The ESCO skills pillar distinguishes between i) skill/competence concepts and ii) knowledge concepts by indicating the skill type. There is however no distinction between skills and competences. Each of these concepts comes with one preferred term and a number of non-preferred terms in each of the 27 ESCO languages. Every concept also includes an explanation in the form of description.

The skills pillar of ESCO contains 13,485 concepts structured in a hierarchy which contains four sub-classifications. Each sub-classification targets different types of knowledge and skill/competence concepts:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Attitudes and values
  • Language skills and knowledge

In addition to the hierarchy, subsets of skills can be accessed through:

  • A transversal skill hierarchy
  • A collection of languages
  • A collection of digital skills

The ESCO skill hierarchy is in a continuous process of improvement. Please share your feedback regarding the quality of the skills and skill groups through our contact page.



Copyright notice: The ESCO skill hierarchy is partially based on elements of the existing classification of O*Net and the Canadian skill and knowledge glossary. For more information click here.

O*NET OnLine is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.

The Skills and Knowledge Checklist is provided by the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada is currently developing frameworks and products to better define and describe competencies, of which the Skills and Competencies Taxonomy is the first publicly available piece.