Rebuilding Europe's skills can generate growth

The economic situation in Europe is challenging to say the least.  Unemployment has grown dramatically since 2008 and economic growth is stagnant.  Although human capital is a critical driver of economic growth, 86% of European employers have cut or frozen their skills and training budgets in the last year. Paradoxically, 43% of the respondents reported at least a moderate skills shortage in their organisations or sectors.500 senior decision makers across a number of sectors were questioned in a survey carried out by Accenture on behalf of the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium.The Accenture report focuses on three key challenges currently facing the European skills markets:

  • Untapped talent
The report calls for initiatives to help bring 25 million unemployed people and a further 15 million ‘discouraged' people into the workforce.  (‘Discouraged' people include older people, women with children and young people who have withdrawn from the world of work because of a lack of opportunities.)
  • Transferable skills and mobile workforces
Barriers to skills transfer are not only national.  Some organisations have trouble identifying and maximising their internal talent pools.
  • Lack of collaboration between sectors
There is scope for improvement when it comes to planning and managing shifts in employment patterns and labour markets.The report makes a number of recommendations for stakeholder groups, including policy makers, educational institutions, employers and others.  Key recommendations include:Actions for employers
  • Invest in data and analytics to profile and track internal talent
  • Offer flexible working options
  • Increase job rotations within organisations and collaborate with others in the same sector.
  • Build partnerships between small and large firms within supply chains to improve skills levels.
Actions for policy makers
  • Improve recognition of skills and qualifications across Europe
  • Simplify regulations regarding global talent recruitment
  • Support partnerships between businesses and education