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    ISCO-88 has three main aims. The first is to facilitate international communication about occupations by supplying national statisticians with a tool to make national occupational data available internationally.

    The second is to make it possible for international occupational data to be produced in a form which can be useful for research as well as for specific decision-making and action-oriented activities, such as those connected with international migration or job placement.

    The third aim is to serve as a model for countries developing or revising their national occupational classifications. It should be emphasised that, while serving as a model, ISCO-88 is not intended to replace any existing national classification of occupations, as the occupational classifications of individual countries should fully reflect the structure of the national labour market. (The ILO Bureau of Statistics is at present preparing a manual on how to develop and use national occupational classifications.) However, countries whose occupational classifications are already aligned to ISCO-88 in concept and structure will find it easier to develop necessary procedures for making their occupational statistics internationally comparable.

    It should be noted that, in many cases, countries will wish to develop in their national classifications finer structural and definition details than those contained in ISCO-88. In certain cases they may wish to include coded information on Job Content Factors and detailed occupational descriptions, which are of particular interest for wage settlements, vocational guidance and training, placement services, or analysis of occupation-specific morbidity and mortality.

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 Updated 15 September 2004, by VA.