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According to UN Statistics and the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, Switzerland is the most attractive country in the world for highly skilled professionals, whether it be talented financiers, statisticians, computer scientists, or world-class engineers, but how can it fill its growing skills gap?

In a breakdown of the top 25 countries and using data from the United Nations and the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), the skilled worker migration index shows that Switzerland ranks number one in the combined weighting categories.

The countries sending the most migrants to Switzerland in order of ranking are: Germany, France, Austria, UK, USA, and the demand for talent ranges from giants like Google to start-up’s. The overall rankings are awarded points on their ability to enable, attract, grow and retain talent.

Switzerland and Singapore are the two best countries for attracting and retaining talent: while the regulatory environments are well known in both these countries, Singapore scores number one to attract, while Switzerland scores number one for retaining talent based on the quality of life.

Switzerland ranks most highly in fostering science and technology, and relevant education. The ETH in Zürich (affiliated with 32 Nobel laureates including Einstein) is routinely placed near the top of global ranking indices. The country provides an ideal environment for technology companies and their employees to thrive relatively free of restrictions compared to some of its neighbours. Switzerland is a leader in the area of technological innovation. The country also ranks highly in the integration of its significant proportion of foreigners, and in closing the gender gap. 

However Switzerland does come well down the ranking in terms of new product entrepreneurial activity, something which the country has recognised and is working at, especially with the younger generation, for example through real business startup projects in secondary education. The proportion of relevant training through traditional apprenticeships is high, but the number of graduates at matura or degree level is mediocre and this is where demand in the modern world of digitization and artificial intelligence is not being satisfied: it was reported by IDC at their Digital Workplace and Mobility Conference 2019 in Zürich that only half the required number of appropriate graduates each year in Switzerland are being trained, and that 77% of firms in Europe have a problem with digital skills recruitment. This will only get more intense as the world replaces lower skilled workers with higher skilled technicians.

Facit: Even with its attractiveness to global talent, Switzerland is as hungry as ever to reskill.

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