EU agency analyses 32 m online job offers to map skills most in demand
by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village
About 32 million unique online vacancy postings from seven EU countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, UK) have been collected by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and processed through big data and machine learning techniques.(1) Skills intelligence is vital to map short- and long-term trends and to designing and reforming education and training programmes, argues Cedefop, in line with the EU Commission’s vision as stated in its “New Skills Agenda for Europe” paper from 2016. (2)
Despite limitations due to the very nature of the survey (online vacancies are more likely in larger firms, in urban areas, they may not offer complete overviews of the skills needed in jobs, etc), the information already collected provides some useful insights. With almost 3 million job vacancies, the top three occupations in demand are software developers, sales assistants and freight handlers. Looking at the skills employers demand, teamwork and adapting to change are central. Cedefop will continue to analyse the results in more detail and progressively release new findings. The focus will be on designing ways to use the information to make it of benefit to all relevant decision-makers, including in education and training.