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Philippines falls 10 spots in global talent competitiveness index

Young men and women attend their graduation ceremony in Pasay City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ EDD GUMBAN

THE PHILIPPINES dropped 10 spots in an annual global ranking of countries’ ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce, reflecting the challenges faced by companies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2022 report by business school Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) showed the Philippines ranked 80th out of 133 countries, down 10 spots from 70th out of 134 countries last year.   

The index looks at how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent.

The Philippines posted a lower index score of 38.06 this year, compared with its score of 44.63 a year ago.

Countries are scored based on their ability to enable, attract, grow and retain talent, as well as vocational and technical skills, and global knowledge skills.   

Switzerland topped the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, followed by Singapore, Denmark, the United States of America, and Sweden.

Among 13 East and Southeast Asian countries on the index, the Philippines had the fourth-lowest score, just ahead of Indonesia (82nd spot), Laos (99th), and Cambodia (103rd).

The Philippines’ scores slumped in terms of enabling talent (90th from 79th a year ago), attracting talent (102nd from 55th), and retaining talent (102nd from 97th).

In contrast, the Philippines’ scores improved in terms of growing the workforce (46th from 48th), as well as in vocational and technical skills (63rd from 90th), and global knowledge skills (49th from 51st).

The INSEAD report also showed Manila dropped one spot in the Global Cities Talent Competitiveness index, to 129th from 128th last year.   

INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Strategy Felipe Monteiro said countries are now facing economic and geopolitical crises, as they continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Government, business and talent are feeling the negative compounded effects of financial, food and energy shocks, particularly impacting the poor and emerging economies. This will likely elevate the level of inequalities on the global talent scene and hinder the progress in achieving key sustainable development goals (SDG) targets,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Monteiro said the countries should undertake immediate action to reduce talent inequalities that have been aggravated by the pandemic and current crises.

“Governments and organizations should champion economic and education reforms to allow young generations to contribute through higher levels of entrepreneurship, innovation and productivity,” he added.   

Sought for comment, Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba said the country’s lower ranking reflects the quality of its educational system, particularly the quality of education at universities.

“I think we really need to strengthen curriculum and ensuring 21st century skills and competencies (are) embedded in our educational system and, most especially, create more innovative, creative mindset (and) building that creation, innovation culture in the country,” she said on the sidelines of a press conference in Taguig City on Monday

Ms. Aldaba said the Philippines can retain talent by providing more job opportunities through increased investments.

“We can retain talent by developing more opportunities, economic opportunities, (and) building more opportunities, taking into account new technologies so as to level up activities… It is important to continuously build new industries, attract investments going to these sectors, and at the same time, level up (our) educational system,” she added.   

Preliminary data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the unemployment rate dropped to 5% in September, from 5.3% in August and 8.9% in September last year. — R.M.D. Ochave

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