What are the skill levels
We chose the skill levels to provide an index for our resource. The 4 skill levels are the official classifications lifted from International Labor Organization Methodologies and they categorize occupations based on complexity, education requirement and other variables.
Skill Level 1
Skill Level 2
Skill Level 3
Skill Level 4
For convenience we coined the following terms to correspond to ILO’s skill levels
Below you can find a more detailed summary of each skill level
Occupations at Skill Level 1 typically involve the performance of simple and routine physical or manual tasks. They may require the use of hand-held tools, such as shovels, or of simple electrical equipment, such as vacuum cleaners. They involve tasks such as cleaning; digging; lifting and carrying materials by hand; sorting, storing or assembling goods by hand (sometimes in the context of mechanized operations); operating non-motorized vehicles; and picking fruit and vegetables.
Many occupations at Skill Level 1 may require physical strength and/or endurance. For some jobs basic skills in literacy and numeracy may be required. If required these skills would not be a major part of the work.
For competent performance in some occupations at Skill Level 1, completion of primary education or the first stage of basic education (ISCED-97 Level 1) may be required. A short period of on-the-job training may be required for some jobs.
Occupations classified at Skill Level 1 include office cleaners, freight handlers, garden labourers and kitchen assistants.’ (ILO, 2018)
Occupations at Skill Level 2 typically involve the performance of tasks such as operating machinery and electronic equipment; driving vehicles; maintenance and repair of electrical and mechanical equipment; and manipulation, ordering and storage of information.
For almost all occupations at Skill Level 2 the ability to read information such as safety instructions, to make written records of work completed, and to accurately perform simple arithmetical calculations is essential. Many occupations at this skill level require relatively advanced literacy and numeracy skills and good interpersonal communication skills. In some occupations these skills are required for a major part of the work. Many occupations at this skill level require a high level of manual dexterity.
The knowledge and skills required for competent performance in occupations at Skill Level 2 are generally obtained through completion of the first stage of secondary education (ISCED-97 Level 2). Some occupations require the completion of the second stage of secondary education (ISCED-97 Level 3), which may include a significant component of specialized vocational education and on-the-job training. Some occupations require completion of vocation-specific education undertaken after completion of secondary education (ISCED-97 Level 4). In some cases experience and on-the-job training may substitute for the formal education.
Occupations classified at Skill Level 2 include butchers, bus drivers, secretaries, accounts clerks, sewing machinists, dressmakers, shop sales assistants, police officers, hairdressers, building electricians and motor vehicle mechanics.’ (ILO, 2018)
Occupations at Skill Level 3 typically involve the performance of complex technical and practical tasks that require an extensive body of factual, technical and procedural knowledge in a specialized field. Examples of specific tasks performed include: ensuring compliance with health, safety and related regulations; preparing detailed estimates of quantities and costs of materials and labour required for specific projects; coordinating, supervising, controlling and scheduling the activities of other workers; and performing technical functions in support of professionals.
Occupations at this skill level generally require a high level of literacy and numeracy and well-developed interpersonal communication skills. These skills may include the ability to understand complex written material, prepare factual reports and communicate verbally in difficult circumstances.
The knowledge and skills required for competent performance in occupations at Skill Level 3 are usually obtained as the result of study at a higher educational institution for a period of 1–3 years following completion of secondary education (ISCED-97 Level 5b). In some cases extensive relevant work experience and prolonged on-the-job training may substitute for the formal education.
Occupations classified at Skill Level 3 include shop managers, medical laboratory technicians, legal secretaries, commercial sales representatives, diagnostic medical radiographers, computer support technicians, and broadcasting and recording technicians.’ (ILO, 2018)
Occupations at Skill Level 4 typically involve the performance of tasks that require complex problem-solving, decision-making and creativity based on an extensive body of theoretical and factual knowledge in a specialized field. The tasks performed typically include analysis and research to extend the body of human knowledge in a particular field, diagnosis and treatment of disease, imparting knowledge to others, and design of structures or machinery and of processes for construction and production.
Occupations at this skill level generally require extended levels of literacy and numeracy, sometimes at a very high level, and excellent interpersonal communication skills. These skills usually include the ability to understand complex written material and communicate complex ideas in media such as books, images, performances, reports and oral presentations.
The knowledge and skills required for competent performance in occupations at Skill Level 4 are usually obtained as the result of study at a higher educational institution for a period of 3–6 years leading to the award of a first degree or higher qualification (ISCED-97 Level 5a or higher). In some cases extensive experience and on-the-job training may substitute for the formal education, or may be required in addition to formal education. In many cases appropriate formal qualifications are an essential requirement for entry to the occupation.
Occupations classified at Skill Level 4 include sales and marketing managers, civil engineers, secondary school teachers, medical practitioners, musicians, operating theatre nurses and computer systems analysts.’ (ILO, 2018)