Posted on January 21, 2015

INSEAD, the leading international business school, yesterday released the 2014 edition of its annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). The study, which measures a nation’s competitiveness based on the quality of talent it can produce, attract and retain, was produced in collaboration with the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI) and Adecco, and focuses on the topic ‘growing talent for today and tomorrow’.

The index ranked Qatar 25th globally and second in the Middle East behind the United Arab Emirates 22nd) and ahead of Saudi Arabia (32nd). “These three countries combine a high degree of external openness (UAE ranks 3rd in the world, Qatar 4th and KSA 9th) with a high level of performance on ‘talent and business enablers”, underlined Bruno Lanvin (pictured), Executive Director of Global Indices at INSEAD, and co-author of the report, noting, “All three countries share the same approach by which their respective governments have given priority to making life easier for business and more attractive for external talents. This is proving a successful combination”.

Qatar 25th (34th, 2013) ranks particularly high on the ‘Attract’ pillar, reflecting the government’s efforts to diversifying its resource-based economy. As part of its clear drive towards becoming a ‘knowledge economy’, the government has taken steps to attract foreign talent and expertise. This is evidenced by the country’s performance in areas of External Openness (4th) with top ranks on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Technology Transfer (4th). Qatar is heavily biased towards the Input sub-index (20th) .

Qatar climbs into top 25 for ability to grow 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgPaul Evans The Shell Chaired Professor of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Emeritus, at INSEAD, and co-editor of the report, said that “In Qatar, the regulatory environment has played a key role in allowing success in growing and attracting talent. Efforts to provide life-long learning opportunities to employees are bearing fruit.” Evans also noted that “In the longer run, small economies like those of Qatar can benefit from the experience of other small economies such as Switzerland, where the development of vocational skills has long been a priority. Economic diversification will require less dependency on external talent. This applies to the entire spectrum of skills required in high-performance enterprises and organisations.”

Commenting on this year’s study, Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, said: “We live in a world where talent has become the core currency of competitiveness - for businesses and national economies alike. Yet there is an all-too-frequent mismatch between education systems and the needs of labour markets. Businesses and governments need new kinds of leaders and entrepreneurs, equipped with the skills that will help their firms and countries to thrive in the global knowledge economy. To help them making the right decisions in an increasingly complex environment, we need the kind of indicators and metrics that GTCI offers.”

Global Talent Competitiveness Index rankings (MENA countries)

Country

Overall Rank 2014

Overall Rank 2013

United Arab Emirates

22

19

Qatar

25

34

Saudi Arabia

32

42

Lebanon

57 

48

Egypt, Arab Rep.

80 

89

Morocco

85 

90

Algeria

91

103

Yemen

93

 -

Kuwait

-

60

Jordan

-

62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Evans, added: “Perhaps one of the most interesting findings this year is the renewed importance of vocational education. It’s not just higher education that is important today – vocational learning needs to be integrated into secondary education. In Switzerland, thinking about becoming employable starts off in schools at an early age. At age 15, over 70 percent of Swiss school children go on to select what’s known as the apprenticeship track, combining practical work experience with traditional theoretical learning.” He added: “Within the current Swiss government, half of the ministers have come out of the vocational stream. For future talent competitiveness, countries have to take vocational education – that is, employability – much more seriously.”

GTCI Input Sub-Index rankings

Country

Enablers Rank

(Regulatory, Market & Business Landscape)

Attract Rank

(External & Internal Openness)

Grow Rank 

(Formal Education, Lifelong Learning & Access to Growth Opportunities)

Retain Rank

(Sustainability & Lifestyle)

Labour & Vocational Rank

(Employable Skills & Labour Productivity)

Global Knowledge Rank (Higher Skills, Competencies & Talent Impact)

United Arab Emirates

11

4

24

32

31

52

Qatar

12

3

25

41

30

59

Saudi Arabia

27

34

42

26

43

35

Lebanon

72

74

40

56

61

47

Egypt, Arab Rep.

86

92

88

43

62

67

Morocco

82

83

89

74

82

88

Algeria

92

90

92

67

91

87

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The twenty top-scoring countries in the GTCI 2014 are all high-income countries. This is hardly surprising, since rich countries tend to have better universities and a greater ability to attract foreign talents through higher quality of life and remuneration, making them more talent competitive. However, beyond this ‘top-level’ correlation of talent competitiveness with wealth, the GTCI study reveals six key factors affecting talent competitiveness across countries of different GDP per capita and development levels:

  1. Openness is key to talent competitiveness: openness to trade, investment, immigration and new ideas, embracing globalisation while leveraging human resources.
  2. Fiscally stable countries need talent competitiveness for sustainable development: mineral or oil rich countries, or those with context-specific competitive advantage, should foster talent competitiveness to ensure sustainable prosperity.
  3. Talent growth can be internal or external: some countries like the US and in Europe successfully focus on developing talent within their own borders, while others such as China attract foreign talent or send their elites abroad for further education.
  4. Countries must consider employability or risk high unemployment: ‘talent for growth’ means meeting the actual needs of a national economy. Switzerland, Singapore and the Nordic countries customise their education systems towards appropriate levels of ‘employable skills’.
  5. Education systems need to reconsider traditional learning: talent development in the 21st century must go beyond traditional formal education and develop vocational skills.
  6. Technology is changing the meaning of ‘employable skills’: technological changes will affect new segments of the labour market, impacting the 250 million ‘knowledge workers’ globally today.

The top of the GTCI rankings is heavily dominated by European countries. The top ten includes only two non-European countries, namely Singapore (2) and the United States (9).

GTCI top 10

1

Switzerland

6

Sweden

2

Singapore

7

United Kingdom

3

Luxembourg

8

Denmark

4

United States

9

Australia

5

Canada

10

Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GTCI 2014 champions include a significant number of small high-income economies. Bruno Lanvin, added: “It’s really quite striking that among the top three countries – Switzerland, Singapore and Luxembourg – two are landlocked and one is an island. Faced with specific geographical challenges and a quasi-absence of natural resources, these countries have had no choice but to be open economies, a critical ingredient to being talent competitive.” He added that “The top countries on this year’s GTCI have played the game of globalisation and played it well.” 

Many of the other economies in the ‘top 20’ have strong immigration traditions, including the United States (4), Canada (5), Sweden (6), the United Kingdom (7), and Australia(9). These high performing countries also have long prioritised education, as is the case for the other Scandinavian countries, all in the top 15: Denmark (8), Norway (11), and Finland (13).

GTCI covers national and organisational parameters and generates insights to inspire action. Based on feedback and analysis following the release of GTCI 2013, this year’s index includes 65 variables (up from 45 last year). It covers 93 national economies, across all groups of income and levels of development, and has four pillars on the input side - Enable, Attract, Grow and Retain – focusing on actions for policymakers and business leaders, and (2) two output pillars, benchmarking national performance in Labour/Vocational and Global Knowledge skills, respectively.

For more information on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index and to download the full report, please visit: https://global-indices.insead.edu/gtci.

Follow twitter: #GTCI2014 for updates

YouTube Knowledge Video: http://youtu.be/4EdN0L54Qmc

Download the GTCI 2014 Infographic at http://adec.co/GTCI2014Infographic

Watch the GTCI 2014 Video graphic athttp://www.adecco.com/gtci

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