Switzerland has retained its title as the world’s top talent hub, according to the IMD World Talent Ranking 2019, as Europe leads the way in fostering the best conditions for competitiveness in a skills-scarce global economy.
The IMD World Talent Ranking, which scores countries across three factors of investment and development, readiness and appeal, placed Denmark in second and Sweden, up five spots, in third. The Top 10 was completed by Austria (4th), Luxembourg (5th), Norway (6th), Iceland (7th), Finland (8th), the Netherlands (9th) and Singapore (10th).
The top of the ranking is dominated by small and mid-sized European countries. These economies all share strong levels of investment in education and a high quality of life. With the exception of Estonia and Lithuania, eastern European economies placed in the lower half of the ranking. Outside the top 10, the biggest climbers were Taiwan, China (20th), Lithuania (28th), Philippines (49th) and Colombia (54th).
According to the ranking, Switzerland leads the world in the ‘appeal’ factor and in areas such as apprenticeships, health infrastructure, remuneration, attracting highly-skilled foreign workers, and university and management education.
Denmark is the world’s leading economy for ‘investment and development’, while Singapore – the only non-European nation in the top ten – scores highest globally for talent ‘readiness’.
“Most leading economies emphasize long-term talent development by focusing on investment and development. This emphasis, however, goes beyond purely academic aspects to encompass the effective implementation of apprenticeships and employee training. Such an approach ensures a consistent alignment between talent demand and supply,” said Professor Arturo Bris, Director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center.
In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan (China) lead in terms of talent competitiveness due to the readiness of their talent pool. Singapore jumped from 13th to 10th position compared to last year while China ranked in the lower half of the index.
In the Pacific region, Australia (16th) and New Zealand (17th) confirmed their status as talent-attracting hubs. Both countries show high levels of readiness in their talent pool and offer an attractive quality of life for international professionals.
The USA (12th) retained its position, whilst Canada (13th) fell seven places due to a decrease in total public expenditure on education and a general decline across all talent factors.
In the Middle East, Israel remained in 19th position, followed by Qatar (26th) and Saudi Arabia (29th).
The bottom of the ranking features several Latin American economies that struggle to develop and retain talent. Venezuela (62nd), Mexico (60th), Colombia (54th), and Brazil (61st) all suffer from issues related to brain drain alongside relatively low levels of investments in education.