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Developing a UK Skills Taxonomy

The term ‘skill’ is widely used when describing various aspects of employment, including jobs, labour markets, and training schemes. Yet it remains an elusive concept, and one which has been difficult to measure and quantify.

Despite its wide use as a concept, the classification of skills has not been developed in the UK in a uniform and standardised manner. All this is set to change.

This project is a four-month programme of work by a consortium of experts in labour market classification, skills development, careers information and job analysis, to develop plans for an eighteen-month project (Stage 2) that will provide a UK Standard Classification of Skills linked to occupations and qualifications.

This preparatory project has two specific aims. The first and most important aim is to seek agreement with stakeholders on the conceptual basis of the classification, ensuring that this accords with its potential uses. The second aim is to establish a well-defined plan for the subsequent development of the classification of skills, together with appropriate linkages to classifications of occupations and qualifications, thus ensuring that it will be fit for the purposes of users.

The overarching objective is to ensure that the future demand for skills can be clearly recognised and understood, facilitating plans to address skills gaps and labour shortages.

The work will be conducted by a consortium of researchers led by Professor Peter Elias at the Warwick Institute for Employment Research , Professor Andy Dickerson at the University of Sheffield, and Neil Bachelor Omnifolio C.I.C., a non-for-profit online profiling and job-matching service. Other IER staff include Professor Joe Sakshaug, Dr Jeisson Cardenas-Rubio, Rosie Day, Luke Bosworth, and Stefanie Poole.

Project Team:

Peter Elias, IER (Principal Investigator)

Jeisson Cardenas-Rubio, IER

Joe Sakshaug, IER

Luke Bosworth, IER

Professor Andy Dickerson, University of Sheffield

Neil Bachelor, Omnifolio C.I.C.

Project duration:

April - August 2023