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In order to achieve our principal objective, a number of specific but interrelated tasks have to be undertaken, each with its associated operational goals and deliverables. These may be summarised, step-by-step, as follows:

Most immediately, we have to construct a prototype of the ESEC and associated derivation matrices. This is the main task of work package 2. A blueprint for the ESEC has already been designed. Derivation matrices relating to both 2- and 3-digit ISCO88 occupational groups will be produced for the blueprint. This task will be preceded in October 2004 by a workshop of all partners to consider the blueprint and all outstanding issues from the Eurostat ESEC Expert Group. A report on the prototype ESEC, including derivation matrices, will be produced at the end of November 2004.

In work package 3, using the prototype ESEC, we will produce a statistical compendium based upon Europe wide data resources. This will show variations in socio-economic indicators across ESEC categories for all EU countries. A web-based resource containing this information will be produced by the end of February 2005.

Following this, in work package 4, a second project workshop will be held at the end of March 2005. At this workshop, and using evidence from the statistical compendium, partners will discuss whether any revisions are required to the ESEC prototype as set out in the report from work package 2. Partners will also agree final plans for the validation studies. At the end of April 2005, a report will be produced by the three UK partners on the evaluation of the prototype, any changes to the derivation matrices and the validation plans.

Between June and November partners 2 and 4-9 will undertake their individual validation studies (work packages 5-11). Each study will result in a report to be produced by the end of November.

In work package 12, the three UK partners will then review evidence from these validation study reports. The prototype ESEC will be further refined as necessary in the light of the validation reports. A report will be produced by the three UK partners for discussion at a project conference to be held at the end of February 2006. The conference will include both consortium members and other interested participants such as Eurostat, NSIs and other academics and will examine both the application and validation of the prototype ESEC and suggested revisions to it. A final version of ESEC will be agreed and placed on this website immediately after the conference. On the basis of papers presented at the conference, we will begin the process of creating an edited book on ESEC as well as at least one article for a suitable European academic journal.

In work package 13, we will create an operational guide to the ESEC in the form of a web-based resource similar to that for the UK NS-SEC. This will be available by the end of June 2006.

Beginning in November 2005, in work package, we will be assisting participant new EU member states in applying the prototype ESEC to their own national statistical resources. A workshop for new member states will be held in July or August 2006 and a report detailing recommendations for the application of ESEC in these countries will be produced by the end of September 2006.