ESCO is the multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations. ESCO is part of the Europe 2020 strategy.
The Commission services launched the project in 2010 with an open stakeholder consultation. DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion – supported by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training Cedefop – coordinates the development of ESCO. Stakeholders are closely involved in the development and dissemination of ESCO.
Between ESCO v0 and ESCO v1, the content of the classification has been entirely re-developed. The work took from 2011 until 2017.
ESCO v1 is the first full-scale ESCO version.
Different from the previous ESCO versions which have versioning numbers starting with 0 (zero), it is not only recommended for piloting and testing, but also for systems in production that deliver services to end users. As of this version, a versioning mechanism will keep track of changes in ESCO.
ESCO v1 follows the three pillar approach. It will contain around 3,000 occupations, 13,500 knowledge, skill and competence concepts and a framework for the qualifications pillar. ESCO v1 wil be available in 26 languages.
The ESCO v1 data has been developed following two approaches:
- for 11 economic sectors it has been developed in cooperation with Sectoral Reference Groups;
- for 16 economic sectors, experts have contributed in an online consultation.
The Cross-sector Reference Group has supported the horizontal development of the classification throughout the whole process.
ESCO has been developed in an open IT format, is available for use free of charge by everyone and can be accessed via the ESCO portal.