Cedefop research shows that in 2014 about 45% of EU employees believed that their skills were not being fully used by their jobs and 29% also did not have potential to further grow their skills in what were dead-end positions.

In the third in a series of articles on insights from the European skills and jobs (ESJ) survey, Cedefop expert Giovanni Russo looks at why skills utilisation means skills formation.

He notes that 'increasing skills utilisation and formation is linked to creation of added value and competitiveness and should be at the core of EU polices aimed at promoting economic growth through investment in skills.'

Cedefop’s ESJ survey was carried out in 2014 in all 28 EU Member States, collecting information on the match of the skills of about 49 000 EU workers.

1.1. Design jobs to utilise skills

Skills formation is one of the main pillars of the European strategy for economic growth, EU2020. However, skills per se are not a source of growth; abundant and better skills can help the EU recovery and sustain growth only if they are put to work. Skills are embodied in people. They manifest into productivity and innovation when they are deployed by workers in the execution of tasks. It follows that reaping the benefits of states’, businesses’ and individuals’ investment in skills can only be realised when people are in jobs that make good use of their skills; when this happens, skills can be the root of economic growth.

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