The digital revolution, coupled with the continued decline of traditional industries, means that the world of work and the opportunities found within the labour market are radically evolving. However, the problem with this is that people’s perceptions and knowledge around employment are not keeping pace with changes. Instead, an increasing number of people are working in jobs which do not match their skills, whilst at the same time employers struggle to find people with the skills they need to develop and innovate (CEDEFOP estimates that 29% of EU workers are either under/over qualified for their work, whilst 40% of companies struggle to find skilled staff).
Therefore, tools are needed which make sure people both understand their own skills and how these skills relate to the current needs of the labour market, in order to stem the growth in skills mismatches. This includes being able to draw links between transferable skills and the potential ‘new’/emerging jobs they feed into, exploring the geographic (on a local, national and European level) difference in demand for different jobs, and understanding future developments and emerging sectors within the labour market.
About the Project
The purpose of the Smart LMI project, is to develop and test the feasibility of a Web App which enables EU level data and tools on LMSI to be embedded within the everyday careers guidance process on a local level. It is careers professionals who people turn to when looking for support and guidance on employment and career development, and so these practitioners offer an ideal channel to link EU level data and resources with end-users, in order to ultimately boost citizens’ career management skills.
Indeed, as the ELGPN write; “[careers guidance] is one of the few active labour market measures that have impact on learning (education, vocational training) and labour market outcomes for citizens” (2015). Yet meaningful decisions in this regard can only be taken when information is presented to both practitioners and their clients in a concise, user-friendly, and easily understood way – something which the fragmented, decision-maker focussed resource provision at an EU level does not currently achieve.
The project has been designed in a way that ensures its results will provide an evidence-base for European policy developments in the future, with a view to feasibility for:
By exploring the feasibility of combining
different European and national data sets into a digital tool, the project will help to draw recommendations on European advancements in areas such as such as eGovernance, open data and data harmonisation
Through developing and testing, the project will explore how feasible it is to bring different LMI sources from across the EU together into one platform.
Through all of its activities, the project will be able
to make conclusions and recommendations about the extent to which current policy is fit-for-purpose and the areas in which more needs to be done on a policy level to enable the opening up of the flow of data
A VIEW TO THE FUTURE
The project’s approach is rooted in current policy developments and concerns at a regional, national and European level. It looks to explore the extent to which policies (such as the European eGovernment Action Plan 2016-2020) within lifelong guidance, eGovernance, skills etc. have created a framework for the sharing and collating of information in the digital age. Within this, the focus is on whether current systems and tools meet the needs of the contemporary labour market, or whether barriers to full exploitation of data remain.
This is because a full and free exploitation of data is essential if innovative digital practices are to be developed which address the objectives of key policies such as the New Skills Agenda for Europe. Indeed, it is the New Skills Agenda’s desire to improve the visibility and quality of skills and labour market information for citizens which has driven the project’s development, something which is reflected in the aims and objectives for the app’s functionality. The project is also aware that future policy can only be developed if a sound evidence base exists to inform policymakers.
Therefore, at the centre of all project activities is the desire to test the current state of play, in order to draw conclusions on the feasibility of digital innovations and highlight areas for future policy developments.
This project was funded with the support of the European Commission. This project is the sole responsibility of the author and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. Agreement Number: 59011-EPP-1-2017-1-UK-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD