Cedefop’s first ESJ (12) survey reveals that skill mismatch affects most of the workforce, not only those looking for a job. The survey is the first to look at skill mismatch over time, taking account of changes to people’s skills and their job tasks. The findings caution that the prolonged economic downturn is threatening the long-term potential of the EU’s human resources. A greater share of recent job finders has entered into jobs that need lower qualifications and skills than their own. The unemployed also run greater risk of misplacement into jobs of lower skill intensity. Further, more than one in five EU employees have not developed skills since they started a job, as over one third of EU jobs are characterised by poor task complexity and lack of continued learning.
Closer stakeholder collaboration and policy action is needed in the EU to generate not only more skills but also, crucially, better jobs for better- matched skills. The survey findings have important implications for several EU policies. They provide robust quantitative data to support the EU’s agenda to promote work-based learning and continuing vocational training. They also support improving active labour market policies by integrating European tools, such as skills validation. The findings finally have implications for the social partnership and dialogue on how skills are developed and used at the workplace.