How Countries Are Working Towards Closing the Global Skills Gaps in Their Region

Technological advances in companies across all industries have entirely transformed the way businesses performed earlier. But this also has created a critical situation for companies to find the right people to fill certain positions with adequate skill sets.

Reports indicate that the demand for a skilled workforce will exceed supply, likely resulting in an overall global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people by 2030. Around 40 percent of employers across the world are having difficulty filling positions, while in developed and advanced economies, it is anticipated that as many as 95 million workers will lack the skills needed for employment. Conversely, companies require 45 million more workers with secondary and vocational education in the developing world, reports found.

The impact of the skills gap can be felt on many levels as today’s businesses are struggling in finding the talent needed and governments could see slow innovation and economic growth. Meanwhile, workers or aspirants may find themselves increasingly unemployable.

Now, look at how some countries have tried or trying to close the skills gaps effectively.

Philippines

Philippines, a country in Asia, is a dynamic and growing economy that has performed better than a number of its peers in Southeast Asia on several economic and social indicators. To fill the skills gaps in the country, companies in the Philippines have changed their work culture to help in retaining talent.

The Philippines central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, for example, has adapted its working conditions in order to lure and hang on top talent. They converted their work culture by offering social clubs based on activities like art and fishing, rooftop gym and running track. Besides this, the bank is also exploring a variety of benefits such as flexible hours and work from home options.

Switzerland

Switzerland is a country in Europe where banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world-renowned. For the past 7 years, the country has ranked top in the Cornell, INSEAD and WIPO’s (World Intellectual Property Organization) annual report of the most-innovative countries. The nation also consistently leads the world in patent applications per capita and provides a fertile environment for seed funding. This is all being happened because of the government incentives to encourage bank lending to entrepreneurs.

Universities in Switzerland drive thinking in order to focus on innovation and the country also is home to Startups, as well as global corporations like Nestlé and Siemens. The collaborative approach between institutions, the government, businesses, and individuals assist Switzerland to provide every step on the way to boosting innovative talent.

Singapore

Education and training systems need to keep pace with the new demands of talent that are constantly challenged by technological disruption, demographic change, shifting business models and the growing nature of work. But Singapore is the country who has tried to ease these challenges as it led the world in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving, according to OECD report into workplace skills. This finding indicated that the sustained efforts of the city-states’ education system to bring its population up to speed with the skills needed in the modern workplace.

Egypt    

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is one of the youngest regions in the world with 60 percent of the population under the age of 30. Though, the country is currently falling short when it comes to training and education because as much as 30 percent of under-30s are unemployed here or not in full-time education. So, this puts Egypt at a disadvantage when it comes to ensuring its economic future.

But a McKinsey report that outlines how the private sector can improve the employability of youth in the Arab region, includes the Education for Employment (e4e) initiative, which designs to augment the supply of work-ready students through investments in university education, technical and vocational education, as well as training and work-readiness education programs.

Egypt is one of the first countries where this education for employment initiative is intervening to try for making an impact. The initiative has picked to first focus on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, seeing its potential to contribute to the future growth of the economy and the mismatch between young people’s skills and those needed by employers.

In a nutshell, the work for future and need to respond rapidly in order to entice and develop the right talent, organisations must invest in education to ensure apt skills that will available to the future workforce. Businesses currently are creating senior leadership roles as a strategy to make their workforce future fit. They are also partnering with other organisations to accommodate the needs of the future workforce.