Revolutionizing Skill Matching: The Story Behind Skill Finder

In today’s dynamic job market, effective communication about skills and competencies is essential. Ensuring that the needs of employers align with the skills acquired through education and training is critical for both job seekers and educational institutions. However, achieving this alignment often poses challenges for both parties.

The European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) multilingual framework offers a standardized classification system for skills relevant to the EU labour market (What is ESCO? | Esco ( Despite this resource, our work with the LCAMP consortium (Home – LCAMP) revealed that employers often struggle to articulate their needs when posting job openings, while educational institutions find it challenging to align their curriculum with industry demands. The discovery of these challenges prompted the development of a solution: the Skill Finder tool.

In this blog post, we delve into the development process behind Skill Finder, explore its key features, and discuss how it’s poised to revolutionize communication about skills between employers and educational organizations.

Skill Finder is a free online open-source tool which we have developed as part of the LCAMP project, to support the collaboration and communication of needs between employers, employees, training providers, and learners within advanced manufacturing. One of the main issues encountered was the lack of a common vocabulary to express the skills needs on one side and the upskilling/reskilling offers on the other. While the ESCO framework already offers a comprehensive vocabulary, partners, and participants within LCAMP reported difficulties in the use of the framework, often finding the search for appropriate skills too time-consuming. We wanted to make use of ESCO’s comprehensive framework while reducing the time needed for the user to search through the framework. Our Skill Finder tool allows users to input titles or descriptions of learning outcomes, courses, or job profiles in their own words and in any of the 27 supported languages, and instantly receive related ESCO skill descriptions. The Skill Finder boasts a database of over 13,000 ESCO skills, resulting in accurate and efficient matching of skills across various sectors and industries.

One major hurdle encountered in the LCAMP project was translating the national curriculum and course learning outcomes to the ESCO framework. Keyword-based searches proved to be difficult and time-consuming, often yielding irrelevant results. To overcome this challenge, we leveraged the text-embedding-3-large model by OpenAI. This model converts skill titles, alternative labels, and descriptions from the ESCO database into vector embeddings, numerical representations of sentences that capture their meaning and relationships, enabling more effective processing of textual data.

To efficiently handle the extensive array of skills across all languages, we adopted a strategic approach of batching the data submission to OpenAI, significantly reducing processing time per language from 4-5 hours to approximately 3-4 minutes.

The search functionality of Skill Finder utilizes the same process and transforms user input into embeddings, allowing the tool to search the ESCO database for semantic similarity between the skill, course, or job profile description input by the user and the ESCO skill descriptions, displaying the top 12 results as potential skill matches.

To make sure that the results provided by the Skill Finder tool are accurate and relevant to the user, we also implemented a user feedback mechanism which allows the user to vote on good and bad matches made by the tool. The user feedback data is currently being stored in a separate data table and will be used for Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), facilitating skill recommendations based on both artificial intelligence and human feedback. Future research and development will focus on the implementation of skill extraction and skill type classification methods to further enhance the usability of the tool.

In conclusion, we hope that the Skill Finder will represent a significant advancement in the realm of skill matching. By bridging the gap between employers’ needs and educational offerings, this tool promises to streamline the hiring process and empower individuals to make informed decisions about their education and career paths.

You can access the tool here: Skill Finder – Knowledge Innovation Centre

The Skill Finder tool is an open-source tool created by Knowledge Innovation Centre with the help of the LCAMP Project.

In an effort to continuously improve the Skill Finder, we are looking forward to receive your feedback at