One of the legacies of the European project is the single market and the expanding trade in goods and services between Member States. Labour mobility however, has not undergone a similar transformation and the vast majority of EU citizens live and work in their home countries. The need to change this situation has become a priority for EU leaders faced with rising unemployment and economic disparities.
A major obstacle to labour mobility is the lack of “a common language between education/training and the world of work”. Most qualifications are based on national training systems and this makes it difficult for employers to assess candidates who come from other countries. To meet this challenge the European Commission has developed ESCO, a platform that provides standardised terminology for occupations,skills, competences and qualifications in 22 languages. ESCO allows employment services to exchange information and match CVs to vacancies.
The ESCO v0 platform was launched in Brussels on the 23-24 October 2013. Prospex worked closely with the European Commission (DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion and DG Education & Culture) to design and implement an intensive two-day programme. Country teams from Member States were introduced to the technical and administrative dynamics of the ESCO v0 platform. They were also challenged to develop national strategies for incorporating ESCO v0 and exploiting its potential. The future of ESCO depends on the active engagement of stakeholders in the platform and the launch conference was a first, important step in this direction.