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2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index Released - China is Ranked 42, Moves up 3 Places

Digital skills gap intensifies widening divide between high-income nations & rest of worldThe Adecco Group commits to upskill / reskill five million people by 2030
2020-01-23 16:40 586
  • Report finds that gap between high income, talent-rich nations and the rest of the world is widening; more than half of the population in the developing world lack basic digital skills
  • Switzerland tops this year's ranking, followed by the United States, its highest place yet, and Singapore in third place
  • AI talent is particularly scarce and unequally distributed across industries, sectors and nations 
  • Broad-based re-skilling is urgently needed to develop 'fusion skills' that enable humans and machines to effectively and efficiently interact in hybrid activities
  • The Adecco Group commits to reskill and upskill five million people around the world by 2030, led by General Assembly, the Group's skilling arm and global leader in future-skills education

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A lack of digital skills is widening the gap between high-income nations and the rest of the world, according to research from the Adecco Group, the world's leading HR solutions company, in partnership with INSEAD and Google.  

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2020, released at the World Economic Forum in Davos, reveals that Switzerland continues to lead the world in talent competitiveness, having held the number one spot since the Index was launched in 2013, and the US moves from third place to second, pushing Singapore down one place compared to 2019. 

China is ranked 42 out of a sample of 132 countries (moves up 3 places from 45 last year). China's performances in the various pillars of the GTCI are quite checkered. On the one hand, China finds itself in the top quartile in two pillars - Grow (22nd) and Global Knowledge Skills (29th) - mainly as a result of its world-class educational system (8th in Formal Education) and its standing as a global power in innovation (15th in Talent Impact). On the other hand, it ranks in the second quartile when it comes to attracting (87th) talent and Vocational and Technical Skills (73rd), where higher levels of both External Openness (83rd) and Internal Openness (89th) would improve the former pillar and greater Mid-Level Skills would do much to strengthen the latter pillar.

2020 Top 20 rankings - countries  

In its seventh edition, Switzerland continues to lead the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, while the United States and Singapore come in second and third respectively, having swapped rankings compared to last year. 

The top three is followed by Sweden (4th), Denmark (5th), Netherlands (6th) and Finland (7th).

Yemen has finished at the bottom of this year's index at 132nd as they had in 2019, just below Congo (130th) and Angola (131st). 

As with previous years, higher rankings are associated with higher income economies. 

Policies and practices that bring about talent competitiveness in developed nations are less susceptible to political and socioeconomic instability. 

Higher income countries have the steady infrastructure to invest in the likes of lifelong learning, re-/upskilling and attracting and retaining global talent. 

COUNTRY 

SCORE 

OVERALL RANK (2020) 

PREVIOUS RANK (2019) 

MOVEMENT

Switzerland 

81.26

1

1

0

United States 

79.09

2

3

+1

Singapore 

78.48

3

2

-1

Sweden 

75.82

4

7

+3

Denmark 

75.18

5

5

0

Netherlands 

74.99

6

8

+2

Finland 

74.47

7

6

-1

Luxembourg 

73.94

8

10

+2

Norway 

72.91

9

4

-5

Australia 

72.53

10

12

+2

Germany 

72.34

11

14

+3

United Kingdom 

72.27

12

9

-3

Canada 

71.26

13

15

+2

Iceland 

70.90

14

13

-1

Ireland 

70.45

15

16

+1

New Zealand 

69.84

16

11

-5

Austria 

68.87

17

18

+1

Belgium 

68.87

18

17

-1

Japan 

66.06

19

22

+3

Israel

65.66

20

20

0

2020 Top 10 Ranking - cities  

The leading cities are those that perform well across the five pillars of the talent spectrum. The city in first place - New York - is demonstrative of this, being a top 10 city across four of the five categories. Cities continue to act as test labs for new AI-based tools such as facial recognition, tele-surveillance and autonomous vehicles. The success of these technologies vary from one city to another, results that are worth watching closely before such tools can be sustainably deployed on a larger scale, longer term. 

CITY 

SCORE 

OVERALL RANK (2020)

PREVIOUS RANK (2019) 

MOVEMENT

New York 

73.7

1

8

+7

London 

71.7

2

14

+12

Singapore 

71.4

3

17

+14

San Francisco 

68.1

4

12

+8

Boston 

66.8

5

6

+1

Hong Kong 

66.4

6

27

+21

Paris 

65.7

7

9

+2

Tokyo 

65.7

8

19

+11

Los Angeles 

62.8

9

22

+13

Munich 

61.9

10

20

+10

Overall, high income countries dominate the top 25 and the index shows that these top 'talent champions' are accelerating further away from the rest of the world. This divide is being intensified by the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the associated digital skills gap that has emerged between industries, sectors and nations.

Acknowledging this skills mismatch and the importance of investing in human capital, the Adecco Group is committing to upskill and reskill 5 million people by 2030. The reskilling push will be led by the Group's training and development arm, General Assembly, which specializes in equipping individuals and teams with today's most in-demand digital skills including data science, coding and machine learning capabilities.

Commenting on the 2020 Index, the Adecco Group's Chief Executive Officer, Alain Dehaze said:

"As machines and algorithms continue to affect a multiplicity of tasks and responsibilities and almost every job gets reinvented, having the right talent has never been more critical.

Today, robots and algorithms have travelled beyond the factory floor and are functioning at front of house, the back office and company headquarters. At all levels, workers need training to hone quintessential "human skills" - adaptability, social intelligence, communication, problem solving and leadership - that will complement technology.

This decade will be characterized by a re-skilling revolution with a focus on 'fusion skills' - enabling humans and machines to work in harmony in a hybrid model. With this in mind, the Adecco Group is committing to upskill and reskill five million people around the world by 2030 – equipping individuals with future skills that will enable them to thrive in the AI age."

The theme of this year's GTCI report focuses on global talent in the age of AI. Notably, the report finds that more than half of the population in the developing world lack basic digital skills, and that the digital skills gap is only widening, with a few countries progressing quickly while most of the developing world lags behind.

New approaches are being tried and tested to find the optimum balance, where people and technology can successfully work side by side and thrive in the workplace of the future. As these new collaborations continue to be developed, global talent competitiveness is being redefined, with nations striving to position themselves as leaders of the AI revolution. While the digital skills gap is significant and continuing to expand, the report's analysis found that AI could provide significant opportunities for emerging markets to "leapfrog"

For example, the longitudinal analyses of talent competitiveness reveal that some developing countries such as China, Costa Rica and Malaysia possess the potential to become "talent champions" in their respective regions. Meanwhile, other countries like Ghana and India have improved their capacity to enable, attract, grow and retain talent in recent years, earning them status as "talent movers"

Looking at cities, New York tops the ranking this year, followed by London, Singapore, San Francisco and Boston. New York's leading position can be attributed to its strong performance across four of the five pillars measured in the research, specifically in the "Enable", "Attract", "Grow" and "Global Knowledge Skills" categories. 

Generally, cities with a proven ability for "future readiness" ranked highly, with activities in fields including AI, fintech and medtech, favouring the talent performance of the top five. Many cities are increasingly becoming testbeds for new AI based tools such as facial recognition, tele-surveillance and autonomous vehicles. The success of these vary across cities, but those that do well will emerge as AI hubs that have the talent pools to sustainably deploy global solutions.

About the 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI)

In its 7th edition, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) is an annual benchmarking tool ranking countries and major cities on their ability to develop, attract and retain talent. Developed in 2013 by INSEAD in partnership with the Adecco Group, the report provides a tool for governments, cities, businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help design their talent strategies, overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace. GTCI covers national and organisational parameters and generates insights to inspire action. This year's index includes 70 variables and covers 132 countries and 155 cities, across all groups of income and levels of development. The GTCI is a composite index, relying on a robust, action-focused Input-Output model, for policymakers and business leaders to learn from and respond to.

The 2020 edition addresses the theme of Global Talent in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. The report aims to explore how the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not only changing the nature of work but also forcing a re-evaluation of workplace practices, corporate structures and innovation ecosystems. As machines and algorithms continue to affect a multiplicity of tasks and  responsibilities and almost every job gets reinvented, the right talent is required not only to carry out new responsibilities and ways to work, but also to capture value from this transformative technology. This topic stands at the heart of the debate in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution as AI has become a game-changer in every industry and sector. Current education and skills acquisition will be transformed as well, implying that formal and informal learning structures will evolve to meet the needs created by this very same AI-driven world.

For more information: 

About the Adecco Group

The Adecco Group is the world's leading HR solutions company. We believe in making the future work for everyone, and every day enable more than 3.5 million careers. We skill, develop, transform and hire talent in 60 countries, enabling organizations to embrace the future of work. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that fuels economies and builds better societies. Our culture of inclusivity, entrepreneurship and teamwork empowers our 34,000 employees, who voted us number 11 on the Great Place to Work® - World's Best Workplaces 2019 list. The Adecco Group AG is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The group is powered by ten global lead brands: Adecco, Adia, Badenoch & Clark, General Assembly, Lee Hecht Harrison, Modis, Pontoon, Spring Professional, Vettery and YOSS. 

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World  

As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity. 

With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. Our 165 renowned Faculty members from 41 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our MBAGlobal Executive MBA, Specialised Master's degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year. 

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World. 

About Google Inc 

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google's innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. 

About FESCO Adecco

FESCO Adecco is a joint-venture human resources services company combining the strengths of FESCO Group (a China 500 Company) and the Adecco Group (a fortune Global 500 Company) at the end of 2010 in Shanghai. FESCO Adecco provides Corporate Outsourcing, Payroll Service & Dispatch, Recruitment, Employee Welfare and related HR solutions on a daily basis for more than 2,000,000 associates and more than 20,000 clients across China. FESCO Adecco is based in Shanghai with regional branches in Zhejiang, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Shaanxi.

Source: FESCO Adecco
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