QQI hosts ESCO Webinar: Connecting Education and Work


On March 14th, QQI hosted a briefing webinar on ESCO (the European Skills/Competencies, Qualifications and Occupations Initiative).

The aim of the webinar was to promote awareness of ESCO and learn more about its current and potential applications in the world of education and the world of work. Over forty invited practitioners and policymakers attended including colleagues from QQI; the European Commission; SOLAS; HEA; Department for Social Protection; Department for Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science; Department for Enterprise Trade and Employment; the Regional Skills Fora, Irish Universities Association, DCU, UCC and Australia’s National Science Agency.

ESCO identifies and categorises skills, competencies, qualifications and occupations relevant for the labour market. It also systematically shows the relationship between these concepts. ESCO has been developed in an open IT format, it is available for use free of charge by everyone.

During the briefing seminar attendees heard from Laura Visan from the ESCO Secretariat who explained the purpose, development and user applications of ESCO. Cyril Regan from Jobs Ireland demonstrated how Ireland’s public employment service have been using ESCO to improve matching between job vacancies and job seekers. Colleagues from Australia’s National Science Agency, shared insights from their analysis of ESCO skills and qualifications descriptors.

The ESCO Secretariat extended an open invitation to arrange a country visit to Ireland where stakeholders could contribute to and benefit from a more comprehensive exploration of ESCO development, use, opportunities and impact. The idea of an Irish ESCO user group was also raised that could facilitate and promote knowledge exchange among interested stakeholders.

The briefing seminar stimulated strong interest in ESCO among the education and skills community and left attendees with plenty of food for thought. Webinar attendees were encouraged to engage and experiment with ESCO and to consider how the availability of a resource that profiles the skills and competencies associated with occupations, could assist in designing education curricula, analysing and reporting on skills, recruiting or developing talent or offering career guidance services.

Contacts and further information:

Contact Beata Sokolowska bsokolowska@qqi.ie for further information, including webinar recording and presentations.

Contact EMPL-ESCO-SECRETARIAT@ec.europa.eu for general enquiries about ESCO.

Visit www.esco.eu