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Job market heads for talent deficit

A shortfall of 10 million workers has been predicted in the US alone by 2010, reports Prerna K Mishra.

india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 11:27 IST
Prerna K. Mishra
Prerna K. Mishra

The world is headed for a skill-set divide. With the dual reality of talent scarcity and unemployment, the talent market will be driven by two deciding factors.

Firstly, the global talent sourcing strategy will come under threat as emerging economies attain critical mass and their demand for skills to takes off locally.

Secondly, technological advances and productivity gains will make many low-skill jobs redundant. Nations, employers, and labour representatives will have to miss no opportunity to re-skill this redundant workforce.

A major part of the world will face talent crunch due to aging population, declining birth rates, economic migration and globalisation. The Bureau of Labour Statistics projects a shortfall of 10 million workers in the US by 2010 alone.

Also, in the next 50 years, low fertility rates and rising life expectancy in OECD countries will roughly double old-age dependency. While shortages grow in some parts, there will be an upswing in unemployment in others. Automation and increasing application of computer technology will eliminate many jobs across the world, according to staffing services company Manpower’s white paper.

This paradox will also extend to the global talent sourcing strategy being pursued by MNCs. Companies have achieved 70 per cent reduction in costs by implementing such strategy so far but this model will also come up for review as the global supply-demand dynamics change. There will be countries favouring mobility, opening up their borders both for migration as well as reception of workforce. Countries like Spain, Italy, and Greece have already begun to facilitate labour market access for skilled immigrant workers. This approach will only become more widespread in the talent pool future.

However, there will also be areas of demographic immobility, causing shortage within countries. For instance, in China, while some individuals are leaving the country to attend universities abroad, other university graduates appear reluctant to leave provincial cities and are unavailable for work in internationally connected cities.

Companies will no longer have the luxury of laying off 5,000 employees with obsolete skills one day and hire another 5,000 the next day. According to Manpower, there may be a good cause to be made for unions working closely with employer in planning for the training of their members.

First Published: Mar 13, 2006 01:06 IST