In the recently published Zoom-in Podcast on the utility and significance of soft skills for Passport4Work, it was explained in detail that the success of Passport4Work is for a large part contingent on a common understanding of skills. Ultimately this is achieved by connecting different skill languages (also known as frameworks or taxonomies), such as O*NET and ESCO (the dominant frameworks in respectively the US and Europe). This is realized by mapping each of the skills from the two frameworks, so ultimately it does not matter if a user is using one language or the other. P4W has chosen the robust US-based O*NET language as a basis for this, meaning other skill frameworks (such as ESCO) will be mapped to O*NET.
To achieve this, P4W has aligned itself with a larger national movement towards a common understanding of skills, called CompetentNL. This project, coordinated by P4W partner UWV (the Dutch public employment service), shares P4W's ambition to allow all job seekers and employers to be able to speak the same language when it comes to jobs and skills.
P4W's contribution to CompetentNL is two-fold.
First, the project has realized a translation of the O*NET skills to the relatively basic Dutch A2 level, to reduce usage barriers stemming from abstract terminology. More on this can be found in the previous web article.
Second, P4W has started a widespread, ambitious national study among Dutch employers, job seekers and intermediaries to contextualize and validate the O*NET framework in the Dutch labour market.