Job Market Intelligence within Europe. 

I had the pleasure of attending online the Web Intelligence Hub conference organized in Brussels by Eurostat and Cedefop.  

This is an article about a European-wide source of data triggering policy changes that affect students. The resulting insights are based on the analysis of 200 million job vacancies to extract skill demands and labour market changes across the European Union.  

The Covid pandemic increased the visibility of the demand for a faster supply of actionable statistics for policymakers. Traditional and reliable methods such as surveying may take as many as two years to rotate between versions and place administrative burdens on business. Pulling information from the Internet such as a big set of Job vacancies, house prices and through donations the activity of online services supplies faster feedback cycles and enhances reliable survey methods.  


There is a wide variety of value to the information we can gather from online sources. Analysis can extract skills and tasks from occupations within Job adverts. From this they can report on which are changing in demand the fastest, how occupations are evolving, and which skills deliver the greatest financial boost for the newly graduated. The same datasets can inform policy across a wide variety of themes. You can map important labour market dislocations such as Covid, green policies, digitalization, generative AI, and the impact of the Ukraine war on the demand for Ukrainian-speaking workers within Europe. The Cedefop report highlights areas of demand associated with the innovative approaches:  

(a) policy-makers need timely insights on future technologies and skill needs to ensure that policies and measures are in line with changing labour market demand;   

(b) training providers are keen on having fast access to data on emerging technologies, skill demand and trending and emerging jobs or occupations to inform training programme design and updates;  

 (c) employers need information on the skills their employees need to adapt to impending and future technological changes;   

(d) jobseekers/career counsellors can benefit from information on skills needs associated with technological change.  

Learning analytics involves designing an educational intervention based on pedological theories, measuring the impact of the intervention via student digital traces and then improving the intervention. One possibility of constructive interaction between the methods is a feedback loop around curriculum redesign where Job Market Intelligence is at two levels national and city. Learning analytics as quality assurance rapidly keeping track of the value of education resources and their impact on the new curriculums. The turnaround time on the new curriculum decreases without a drop in quality.  

That is not to say there are no challenges. Issues leading to further research exist such as dealing with the bias in the datasets and developing reliable methodologies and statistical practices. The Web Intelligence Hub conference is a good place to take a step back and reflect on the practicalities and status of a European approach driven by Eurostat and Cedefop.  

The Conference 

Cedefop and Eurostat are enablers of data-informed decision-making. 

 Eurostat supplies high-quality statistics and data for Europe and was founded in 1953 by the European Parliament.   

Cedefop supports the promotion, development, and implementation of the Union policy in the field of vocational education and training (VET) as well as skills and qualifications policies. Eurostat is rolling out the datasets, statistics and reports.  

I kept track of interesting quotes from the panel discussion. Any misquotes are mine.   

There are going to be fewer young people in the job market and therefore they will endure most of the digital transformation. Understanding the direction of the job market and skill demand is part of the process of triggering policy changes. Therefore, we need to be aware of the underlying pressures:  


  • ¾ of people do not have the right skills to apply for the job  

  • Affects European-wide competitiveness  

  • There may well be a lack of fairness  

  • Only 30% receive training per year. The target is 60% EU by 2030  

  • Currently, there are 9 million IT specialists, but there is a need for 20 million by 2030.  

The key takes away from the conference was that Job Market Intelligence is mainstream and will have a greater impact on policy. However, there is still work to be done. It is relatively easy to get the data, but the standardising of the processing of the data and methodological practices is harder and is the continued subject of investigation.   

Understanding the changes in demand for skills and tasks during a period of rapid evolution is vital and will affect what and how we teach.  

For the curious the event website is here. I expect the event's live streams will be made accessible in the coming days.  


I am an author and consult about Analytics, IT automation, Quality…


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