Singapore still No 1 draw for talent among Asia-Pac countries

SINGAPORE retains its top spot in the Asia-Pacific and second globally for the fourth consecutive year in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2017, making it the only Asian country to emerge in the top 10 this year.

Switzerland is ranked first while the United Kingdom clinches the third spot. Other Asia-Pacific countries in the top 30 globally include Australia (6th), New Zealand (14th), Japan (22nd), Malaysia (28th) and South Korea (29th). The rankings were announced during GTCI's regional launch at the Insead Asia campus in Singapore on Tuesday.

The GTCI is an annual benchmarking report measuring the ability of countries to compete for talent. Focusing on "Talent and Technology", the 2017 report, produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore, explores the effects of technological change on talent competitiveness and the future of work.

It argued that while jobs at all levels continue to be replaced by machines, technology is also creating new opportunities. Insead's website said that the report explored the challenges and opportunities as well as important shifts away from traditional salaried approaches to work.

Read also: Singapore has 7th largest mid to large-sized private jet fleet in Asia-Pacific region

Ilian Mihov, dean of Insead, said: "This year's GTCI report shows that countries in the Asia-Pacific region demonstrate strong talent readiness for technology. It also highlights the important role of education. Educational systems have to revamp to help learners foster learning agility and adjust on the fly of changing conditions."

According to a joint press release by the three firms, high-ranking countries share key traits, including educational systems that meet the needs of the economy, employment policies that favour flexibility, mobility and entrepreneurship, and high connectedness of stakeholders in business, education and government as well as high level of technological competence.

Countries can learn from Singapore's well-developed regulatory and market landscapes for global talent to thrive and its ability to anticipate the movements of the economy, the press release said, although the country could face some challenges ahead.

Read also: Singapore aims to house the most globally competitive plants

Christophe Duchatellier, regional head of Asia Pacific, The Adecco Group, said: "Although Singapore, Australia and New Zealand all feature in the Top 20 of this edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, these latest findings highlight the increasing challenges that many countries in the Asia-Pacific region have in attracting and retaining talent. We would expect to see more organisations offering internship and apprenticeship programmes to foster skills development."

In the report, China and India are away from the top, ranking 54th and 92nd respectively.

Bruno Lanvin, executive director of global indices at Insead and co-editor of the report, said: "Overall, a big challenge for China and India lies in their ability to attract talent, and they both face the issue of local higher-skilled workers leaving to live and work abroad. To improve their attractiveness, the countries can further boost their regulatory and market landscapes."

This article was first published on Apr 19, 2017.
Get The Business Times for more stories.