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European Year of Skills

DS4Skills - Building a human-centric and trusted Data Space for Skills

Funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Programme, the Data Space for Skills (DS4Skills) project aims to prepare the groundwork for the development of a European Data Space for Skills that supports sharing and accessing skills data.


Data is a crucial resource for the growth of the European economy and society, boosting innovation and digital transformation. The European Strategy for Data proposed by the European Commission in February 2020 aims at creating a single market for data and making the EU a leader in a data-driven society. Building common European data spaces, as the focus of this strategy, will ensure that data will become more available and benefit citizens and businesses in many ways. A European Data Space for Skills is an example. 

A human-centric Data Space for Skills that fosters innovation and growth

As part of the European Commission’s roadmap for creating common European data spaces for different areas, DS4Skills contributes to the development of a data space for education and skills. The project is a preparatory action which provides input for a future project on the deployment of the European Data Space for Skills.

As one of its key outcomes, the project launched an online inventory which provides a comprehensive and structured overview of existing platforms, services, apps, emerging data spaces, and other initiatives in the skills data domain. The inventory contributes to tackle the lack of visibility and fragmentation of existing initiatives as well as providing concrete data to the development of the Data Space for Skills.   Up to now, about 110 initiatives have been showcased on the inventory and new initiatives are constantly recruited. Next, DS4Skills will develop a blueprint for the deployment of this data space in the future, with various conceptual approaches and specific use cases, to be launched in October 2023.   

Based on various selected use cases, the project identified three distinct strategic use cases through which the value proposition of the Data Space for Skills can be described.

  1. Mapping the available skills against those required by jobs and markets by applying interoperable skills semantics and capabilities – for example, this can be seen in the mapping of competencies-based education and career plans, or in determining individual skills and capabilities to identify re-skilling needs.
  2. Matching the skills offered with the demands of organisations and individuals – for example, this can be done by matching individuals to jobs based on personal skills profiles and job descriptions to detect market gaps, or by matching individual skills with education programs and providers to address those gaps through new training paths.
  3. Forecasting the future of skills to enable data-driven and strategic decision-making – for example, this might involve predicting the new skills an organisation will require in the future and planning recruiting strategies accordingly. This might also involve formulating forward-looking employment and education policies to adapt educational programs to the labour market, and the formulation of personalised education and training plans.

Engaging stakeholders in an open and collaborative community

Led by DIGITALEUROPE, DS4Skills unites 10 full partners and 4 associated partners representing key industry, education and data ecosystem stakeholders. Via a wide network of partners from diverse backgrounds, the project is building consensus and engaging with a broad community of skills stakeholders to ensure the development of a human-centric skills data space. This also includes a close engagement with the Data Spaces Support Centre, which was launched at the same time to promote and coordinate all relevant actions on sectorial data spaces.

Stay tuned for the launch of the Data Space for Skills Blueprint in October.