ESCO600x400European Skills Competencies Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) is a classification system that provides a link between sets of occupations, skills, competencies and qualifications.  It shows the links between the skills and competencies required for certain jobs and the qualifications that enable individuals to achieve these.  When completed, the database will show this information for all recognised occupations and qualifications in EU member states.

ESCO has developed a classification system that allows a search between the three “pillars” allowing a match to be identified between particular jobs, skills and qualifications.



The ESCO database is still under development.  It was launched in 2013 with the first sets of information released in 2014 in version 0.1.  During 2015 and 16 there will be further review of the content.  ESCO V1 with all three pillars fully established will be launched in 2017.

ESCO Governance

ESCO is coordinated by the European Commission.  Key stakeholders include employer organisations, trades unions, employment services, education institutions, training organisations, job portals, sector skills councils and various relevant government bodies.  Support for ESCO is provided by CEDEFOP.

The ESCO Board consists of senior representatives that provide strategic advice.

The ESCO Maintenance Committee is made up of technical classification experts that support the development of the ESCO methodology and the quality assurance process. More details can be found here.

Sectoral Reference Groups are experts for a specific sector of economic activity in the labour market and the corresponding education and training sector (Hyperlink)

The Cross Sector Reference Group consists of experts in employment and education, related standards and classifications. They have an up-to-date knowledge of relations between education and training and the labour market. More details here.

Further information about ESCO can be found here.

Related Content