Chart of the month: Education, skills and quality of life

Global Telent (2)

Everyone talks about the global competition for talent. Whether it’s home grown, imported, or accessed remotely.

In this competition, the UK has remained in the top 10 globally and, with the USA, is the only one of the larger countries to have been and remain in the top 10 over the last decade.

Apart from the consistently dominant position of Switzerland and Singapore, performance in different countries has varied significantly from year to year (figure). For a period (2016-2018), the UK had climbed to second position globally only to fall again as The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Austria gained ground.

The global skills competitiveness index is based on an analysis of multiple pillars. For the UK, the 2023 analysis concludes:

“The United Kingdom (10th) retains its position from last year, meaning it has featured in the top 15 every year since the launch of the GTCI and in the top 10 eight times, including this year.

It features in the top three (2nd) for its ability to Grow talent, primarily thanks to the impact of its world-class tertiary education and programmes for Formal Education and Lifelong Learning, for which it is ranked 3rd and 2nd, respectively.

The United Kingdom also achieves 2nd-place ranking in the Global Knowledge Skills pillar, where its highly innovative and entrepreneurial economy result in a large Talent Impact (also 2nd).

However, the impressive level of Global Knowledge Skills stands in stark contrast to the country’s comparatively weak position (29th) for Vocational and Technical Skills. There is considerable scope to raise its ranking in the Mid-Level Skills sub-pillar (from 44th), and to boost its 20th position for Employability by better matching workforce supply and labour market demand.” 

These strengths and weaknesses are well known and dovetail with our own Education Manifesto suggestions for making education more relevant to the real world of work.

It is also worth looking at which countries are best at retaining and attracting talent. As the figure (right) shows, the top three performers (Switzerland, Singapore and the US) all have a net positive score in attracting ‘inventors’ whereas the UK in common with other larger European countries has a net negative score. ‘Inventors’ tend to flock to the top three performers and overwhelmingly to the USA.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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