Using labour market information - Guide to anticipating and matching skills and jobs, Volume 1

This guide is a part of the European Training Foundation (ETF), ILO and the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) series of guides on skills anticipation and matching.

Every day people, companies and institutions in the labour market are making choices. What education should I or my child take? Is there a qualified workforce available in the region where our company is considering a new business? Do we need a better educated workforce to attract foreign investments? Is there a need to revise some education programmes? Do we need incentives to attract students into particular fields? People make such decisions based on information available at the moment; inevitably they act in a situation of imperfect information. Many are long-term decisions: people, institutions and companies are not preparing themselves for the current labour market but for several years in the future. Although we can never know for sure what will happen in the future, it is important to use the information we currently have to anticipate what skills will be needed.

The main goal of this guide is to provide guidance through labour market monitoring and analyses of skills supply and demand. It is an introductory tool for everyone who wants to understand how labour market information (LMI) can be used for better anticipation and matching of skills demand and supply. It provides advice and recommendations for policy- and decision-makers on how to respond to market signals and how to react to early warning messages driven by LMI. Technical analysts and professionals can use this guide as a source of inspiration on how LMI systems can be further developed and used for policy analyses and interventions.