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ESCO on Cultural and Creative Occupations and Skills workshops with ARTeria

Anna Ochmann and Wenancjusz Ochmann were invited in the role of experts to take part in ESCO on Cultural and Creative Occupations and Skills workshops, organised by the Goethe Institute in Brussels, as part of the Creative FLIP project, co-financed by the Creative Europe programme (more about the project here).

ESCO (The European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations classification – more about it here) is a multilingual European classification of said abilities. Skills, competences, qualifications and professions crucial to the European labour market were defined and prioritised in the ESCO classification. It demonstrates relations between different concepts, it is also based on three pillars: professions, skills and qualifications.

As part of the profession pillar, terms associated with occupations were defined, using hierarchical relations between concepts, metadata and the results of assignment to ISCO (International Standard Classification of Occupations). Each profession is accompanied by its profile, containing the explanation of each occupation in the form of a description, a note referring to the concept’s range and definitions. In the profile, there is also terminology connected with knowledge, skills and competences, which were considered by experts as vital for a given profession on a European scale.

The second pillar – concerning skills – introduces differentiation between concepts involving abilities/competences, and terms involving knowledge. The concepts were explained in the form of a description, with a note concerning their range and definitions. The pillar is not structured hierarchically, but grouped into four categories:

  • through relations with professions (using professional profiles, with which it is possible to enter sites related with the occupations)
  • through a hierarchy of skills (in parts concerning knowledge, skills and competences of general nature)
  • through relations demonstrating in what way given knowledge, skills and competences are crucial for another type of knowledge, skills and competences
  • through functional collections

The last pillar is qualifications, which are a formal result of the process of evaluation and verification. The qualifications of ESCO stem from national databases of qualification frameworks, whose ruling bodies are member countries of the European Union – and they voluntarily forward this information to ESCO. That is why it is so important for each member country to provide accessibility, completeness, accuracy and topicality of their bases. The commission is also planning to include private, international and sectoral qualifications in ESCO, acquired from other sources (at the moment, pilot projects and discussions with EU countries on this subject are being held).

The participants of workshops organised on March 12th 2020 (due to the coronavirus pandemic, the people gathered in Brussels were accompanied by on-line experts, including representatives of the ARTeria Foundation) concentrated on 9 professions of the cultural and creative sectors, within three sub sectors:

  • advertising expert, game designer and arts/fine arts instructor, within the sub sector of “designing and creative services”
  • actor, singer, luthier, within the sub sector of “performing arts”
  • clothing design technician in CAD, costume designer and video creator within the sub sector of “visual arts and craft”

The workshops aimed to provide expert support (through participation in focus groups) for the Creative FLIP designing team in formulating recommendations concerning better adjustment of ESCO to the goals of cultural and creative industries. In relation to recognisability and accessibility of the above professions in the ESCO classification, among others, as well as the compliance of current training and the labour market’s needs, regarding skills of these nine chosen occupations.

The participants were greeted by Barbara Stacher (DG EAC, European Commission) and Dubravka Jurisic (Creative FLIP, Goethe-Institut Brussels). After the introduction to ESCO, prepared by Dimitrios Pikios and Aikaterini Sylla (DG EMPL, European Commission), who acquainted the attendees with the idea of the programme, as well as the rules of classification (also in the beta version of the site, which is currently under construction). Claudia Plaimauer (Project Manager and Researcher, 3s Unternehmensberantung) presented the workshops’ goals and the methodology of workshop activity.

ARTeria Foundation’s representatives mostly concentrated on professions included in the sub sector of performing arts (especially singers), but also in a broader sense – trying to figure out the answers to questions such as: are these nine occupations classified accurately? Which ones are crucial in given sub sectors? Is the level of described skills accurate/enough for each one? Do these descriptions address the current situation on the labour market?

The meeting was also an opportunity to present two projects, which the ARTeria Foundations co-pursues, and which are connected to the development of professional competences in cultural and creative sectors: “Learn to Create – promoting Work-based Learning in Europe’s Cultural and Creative Industries” and “The Partnership for Creative Apprenticeships”, both of which are co-financed by the European Union programme Erasmus+.

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