Fierce competition for highly skilled talent from abroad adds weight to domestic programs, Dr Martin Kaspar, fDi Intelligence.
Close collaboration between schools and businesses ensures that these countries end up with staff whose skills are perfectly tailored to companies’ needs — something that even convinced Apple CEO Tim Cook. He expressly stated that the talent he found in Munich was is the reason behind Apple’s latest major investment in Germany.
Similarly, the Scandinavians are placing greater emphasis on education. Finland’s highly regarded education system allows it to consistently top global rankings and is a prime example of a country successfully nurturing home-grown talent. However, this comes at a cost: Finland, Sweden, and Denmark all spend between 6–8% of their gross domestic product on education. In exchange, they get a world-class workforce, whose very existence attracts foreign investment in R&D and high-tech sectors, making them highly innovative and competitive economies.
These countries prioritize education and talent development within their own borders. Their unique mix of sustained substantial investment in education, and close collaboration between academia and industry, provide them with a skilled workforce. That is a key ingredient in high-value-added industries and is one that is less likely to ‘up-sticks’ and move than the highly mobile and highly skilled mercenary workforce of the past. Domestic talent programs are better suited to ensuring the longevity of highly skilled workforces needed in the modern economy.