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16 April 2024

Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Top places for skilled staff

By Majorie van Leijen

Across the globe governments aim to attract skilled workers.

If you are an engineer, nurse, IT specialist, or technician you are likely to be on the wanted list of a number of popular immigration destinations.

Especially in the developed world skilled workers are likely to be welcomed, according to Business School Insead.

“As countries develop, there is evidence that careers in science and engineering become less attractive, and there has been a growing reliance in developed nations, notably the US, on recruiting foreign students and scientists from Asian countries where these disciplines are seen as the way ahead,” they write in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2015-2016.

The index ranks countries according to their ability to attract talent across the globe.

According to the chart, Switzerland is most successful, followed by Singapore and Luxembourg.

The UAE takes 23rd place on a list of 100 countries.

European countries are particularly well represented, especially the northern countries, pointed out the report. Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Norway and Finland all appear in the top 10.

The US is ranked 4th, while Canada is ranked 9th, New Zealand 11th and Australia 13th.

Some countries have been long-standing desirable destinations with a selective priority given to the high-skilled, such as Singapore, Switzerland, Ireland and the United States, it explains.

However, what is characteristic of this time is that skilled worker migration is increasingly becoming a temporary phenomenon.

“Temporary economic mobility of high-skilled people is the key to understanding the 21st century world of brain circulation,” the report states.

Rather than speaking of skilled worker migration in terms of brain drain and brain gain, indicating that migration benefits only the receiving country the mobility of talent should be considered as brain circulation, sounds the argument.

Rather than permanent settlement of skilled workers in another country, the migrated skilled worker may return to the country of origin, bringing home knowledge and skills. In addition, through remittances and network sharing the benefit of migration is transferred to the country of origin.

“Migrants may initially take with them skills and capital; yet, ideas and capital may flow back (and in larger amounts) as long as migrants maintain diaspora-type social and cultural ties to the home country,” the report states.

In countries with a long-standing reputation as a settlement country, temporary migration is on the increase – for study, a particular project, or mission, it adds.