Why Europe could be lost out to talent hunting

14 June 2019 | Expatriation, Immigration in France

As all countries have understood, our economy is now based on increasingly sophisticated skills. Competition to attract qualified workers is raging and Europe remains critically lagging behind…

Skilled workers at the center of an international competition

In the 1990s, the gradual globalization of economies and businesses highlighted the challenges of innovation. In the 2000s, the evolution of information and communication technologies accelerated this phenomenon.

Today, hyper-competition, rapid and continuous innovation and environmental uncertainties have reinforced companies’ requisites in terms of employee performance. Skills and qualifications are now at the center of businesses’ competitiveness.

Globalization has thus led to a fierce competition to attract qualified workers. This competition is not only at the level of companies but also between countries and even between continents!

Europe is the main loser of the competition

Europe is already facing a skills deficit. Unfortunately, this trend is likely to worsen given that the global share of European higher education graduates will decline further by 2030. Ageing and population decline are the main causes of this phenomenon.

By 2030, more than half of all higher education graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 will have studied in China or India. For their part, Europe and the United States will only have 15% of them.

The European challenge

To stay in the race of the international competition, Europe has no choice but to attract foreign qualified workers.

Unfortunately, more than half of all foreign nationals immigrating to Europe today do so for family reunification or humanitarian-related reasons. Unlike the United States, Canada or Australia, Europe attracts only a tiny fraction of the flow of foreign qualified workers (1/3 compared to almost 2/3 for North America in 2013).

One of the main causes of this phenomenon is the complexity of immigration processes and the lack of harmonization between European states on the subject. Despite a strong will on the part of the EU, attempts to harmonize and simplify the various processes are still inadequate.

The most revealing example remains the implementation of the European Blue Card (EBC), the latter being created to compete with the American Green Card.

Originally, this measure was intended to facilitate the mobility of high-skilled managers within Europe but since its implementation in 2014, not all EU countries have implemented the issuance of such resident permit. Only Germany and France have.

The European Union has not been able to enforce uniform issuing conditions and as a result, allowed each country to freely chose the criteria. At the same time, the holder of an EBC does not have any gateways to go from one country to another either… We are still a long way from the Green Card that covers the entire US territory.

However, this is a crucial issue for the future of Europe.

Source of the article : European Commission documents

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