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 (‘Discouraged’ people include older people, women with children and young people who have withdrawn from the world of work because of a lack of opportunities.)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