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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mobility is key to economic growth - pack your bags!

A New report released earlier this week by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum says that as certain skills become in higher demand, the ability to move is crucial to the global economy.

The reports says that China for instance, will need to double its talent base by 2020. Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will need more immigration and better education to balance the loss of talent from aging workforces.

It says the highest demand will be for highly educated professionals, technicians and skilled managers, adding health care research & development will create huge demand world-wide. The report is clear in saying that if you do not have critical knowledge or technical skills you will be left behind.

So, are you ready to move? Ready to improve your level of experience? Get in touch with one of our headhunters to discuss what we can do to help. It always pays off to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Here's the press release from BCG and WEF;

  • A new report on looming labor and skills shortages finds that global mobility of talent is as critical to economic growth as global mobility of goods and financial capital.
  • To retain their growth momentum, most economies will need to import highly skilled professionals, technicians, and managers, and act fast to develop and diversify their domestic talent bases.
  • China will need to double its talent base by 2020. Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States will need more immigration and better education to balance the loss of talent from aging workforces.

Industries and countries worldwide will require major increases of highly educated people in their workforces to sustain economic growth, argues a new report prepared by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, Global Talent Risk -- Seven Responses, analyzes projected talent shortages by 2020 and 2030 in 25 countries, 13 industries, and nine occupational clusters. The report concludes that:

  • Demand will be biggest for highly educated professionals, technicians, and managers. Professionals will be in particularly high demand in the trade, transportation, and communications industries in developing nations.

  • In the next two decades, demand for professionals in manufacturing will peak at more than 10 percent in developing countries, exceeding 4 percent across all countries sampled. (Labor-demand growth rates are compounded annually.)

  • Health care research and development alone will generate enormous demand for skilled labor worldwide.

  • Employees without critical knowledge and technical skills will be left behind.

If left unaddressed, talent scarcity will become a threat to sustained growth, particularly in knowledge-based economies. "Human capital has replaced financial capital as the engine of economic prosperity," said Hans-Paul B├╝rkner, BCG's president and chief executive officer.

The roots of the global talent risk include the widely uneven quality of educational systems, erratic employability of the workers in the Southern Hemisphere, and demographic changes in the Northern Hemisphere, where retirement of the baby boomers will result in an unprecedented talent deficit. In Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, expected immigration and birth rates will not offset the workforce losses caused by aging populations. Today, foreign-born workers with university degrees or equivalent qualifications make up just 2 percent of the European labor market, compared with 4.5 percent in the United States and nearly 10 percent in Canada. Improved education and training must go hand in hand with increased labor migration.

"The global problem is no longer a mere talent mismatch. The scale of the predicted talent gap requires concerted action, starting with -- and going well beyond -- removing barriers to the mobility of talent," said Piers A. Cumberlege, senior director, head of partnership, World Economic Forum.

The report proposes seven core responses to global talent risk:

  • Introduce strategic workforce planning to address imbalances between labor supply and demand.

  • Ease migration to attract the right talent globally.

  • Foster "brain circulation" to mitigate brain drain.

  • Increase employability by advancing technological literacy and cross-cultural learning skills.

  • Develop a talent "trellis" by focusing on horizontal and vertical career and education paths.

  • Encourage temporary and virtual mobility to access required skills easily.

  • Extend the pool by tapping women, older professionals, the disadvantaged, and immigrants.

Members of the Global Agenda Council on Skills and Talent Mobility, as well as more than 100 high-level experts and practitioners, contributed to the recommendations in the report and to the talent mobility dialogue hosted by the World Economic Forum online and at meetings in Brussels, Doha, Davos-Klosters, Dubai, Montreal, New Delhi, and New York in 2009 and 2010.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 in Davos-Klosters will seek to catalyze a pragmatic, result-driven action focused on effective sharing of good practices.

For more information about the Global Talent Risk -- Seven Responses report, please contact:

  • Anna Janczak, Associate Director, Head of Professional Services, World Economic Forum, by telephone at +1 917 562 0533 or by e-mail at anna.janczak@weforum.org

  • Eric Gregoire, Global Media Relations Manager, The Boston Consulting Group, by telephone at +1 617 850 3783 or by e-mail at gregoire.eric@bcg.com

About The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan, or national interests (www.weforum.org).

About The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 71 offices in 41 countries. For more information, please visit www.bcg.com.

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