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SOURCE The Conference Board
New Report Explores How Three Nations Are Rethinking the Way They Measure, Manage, and Market their Greatest Resource
NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conference Board today published Addressing National Talent Shortages: What Countries Are Doing, What Companies Can Learn, a study of innovative efforts governments are making to shape workforces adapted to the national needs and global markets of the twenty-first century. The report offers the first in-depth examination of three programs with the potential to become international models: Canada's Forum for International Trade Training (FITT), India's National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and Singapore's Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
Though conceived with goals, mandates, and budgets as different as the countries themselves, all three programs embrace-and advance-the cutting edge in human capital thinking. Technologically, they use "big data" aggregation to zero in on the sectors, jobs, and specific skills where demand outstrips supply, now and in the future. They bolster the rigor of their findings and reach of their interventions through strategic incentives, metrics, and communications. And because even "big data" is only as useful as its taxonomy and presentation, they continuously incorporate feedback from stakeholders in business, labor, education, and every level of government.
"In recent years, The Conference Board has helped lead the business conversation on Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP)," said Mary Young, Principal Research, Human Capital and author of the report. "These countries are at the leading edge, deploying SWP to achieve their national economic agenda in much the same way that companies use SWP to execute their business strategy. Governments don't call it SWP, but the objective of aligning human resources with organizational priorities is the same, and the stakes are even higher. The three case studies we looked at-a tiny, wealthy city-state; an established medium-sized player rich in resources; and a developing power with near-unlimited human potential-offer lessons not only for other nations, but also leading companies around the globe."
Young was afforded wide access to the programs in India, Canada, and Singapore. Addressing National Talent Shortages reveals their foundations, agendas, and broader relevance from the inside.
Starting from Scratch: India's National Skill Development Corporation
- In India, 84 percent of the labor force still works in the informal sector and only 2 percent of workers have any training. A huge public-private partnership, NSDC is mandated to create a "skills ecosystem" for the country and oversee the delivery of skills training to 150 million Indians by 2022.
- Unlike leading developed economies, India lacked a unified labor market information system (LMIS). This deficit may actually be an advantage, as it allows to that meet the needs of multiple users. NSDC is working with employers in 22 high-growth sectors to create LMIS from the ground up. Such a system will make job demand transparent, with skills-based career roadmaps to help individuals find employment.
- For most Indian students and parents, higher education is the sine qua non, leading to diploma mills and university degrees that are worthless in the job market. NSDC must help to change public attitudes that skills-training is a poor cousin.
Specific Problem, Surgical Response: Canada's Forum for International Trade Training
- Canada derives 60 percent of its GDP from international trade, yet its economic competitiveness is slipping. Ensuring the country has a workforce with the new skills the sector needs is not high on the country's agenda.
- FITT investigated the sector's changing workforce needs and compared them against Canada's labor supply. Then it developed a national workforce strategy to strengthen the country's competitiveness as a global trading partner.
- Canada's existing labor market information system (LMIS) relies on occupational codes designed for an earlier economy that often don't reflect today's jobs. Working with a panel of labor market experts, FITT used an iterative top-down/bottom-up process to transform the outdated categories into modern occupational areas and skillsets needed for trade.
Total Vertical Integration: Singapore's Ministry of Manpower
- Key to Singapore's rise from a tiny, resource-poor colony to Asia's talent hub has been an unmatched end-to-end system of managing human capital based on the tripartite cooperation of government, business, and labor.
- For decades, Singapore's success had been predicated on an expanding labor force (though both birthrate and immigration), but an aging population and shrinking space to expand has necessitated a shift to productivity-driven growth. A government agency, MOM, is tasked with ensuring the country has the workforce needed to meet its economic goals.
- MOM is working intimately with industries and individual companies to identify crucial jobs and skillsets that can add value even as the overall workforce shrinks. An extensive suite of resources give businesses detailed views of projected manpower and students, data-driven guidance for choosing and navigating careers.
- MOM monitors the job market for supply-demand mismatches. With the nimble responsiveness of a city-state, Singapore addresses these gaps and gluts up and down the talent supply chain: in higher education, continuing education, incentive programs, and foreign worker policies.
For the full report:
Addressing National Talent Shortages: What Countries Are Doing, What Companies Can Learn
by Mary Young (R-1521-13-RR, September 2013)
About the Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org
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