Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Brussels ranked 10th city in the world

Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Brussels ranked 10th city in the world

Compared to 2017, Belgium improved its score in four of the pillars : "Attract", "Retain", “Vocational and Technical Skills” and “Global Knowledge Skills”...

Global Talent Competitiveness Index

The annual competitiveness ranking, compiled by INSEAD, looks at the ecosystems created by countries and cities around the world that aim to support the emergence of talent and the companies that benefit from it. Switzerland remained at the top of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) in 2018. More generally, European countries dominated the GTCI ranking, occupying fifteen of the top twenty-five places.

The report, published today by INSEAD in partnership with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications, provides an annual measurement of the growth of countries and cities, and a snapshot of the ways they attract and retain their talent. The document is thus a valuable tool for policy-makers wishing to understand the issue of talent competitiveness and to develop strategies for progress in this domain.

This new edition highlights important common points between the top ten countries, who share a particular characteristic: they all have a sophisticated educational system that teaches the social and collaborative skills required in the current job market. Further analysis reveals that the sector leaders share several other characteristics:

  • a flexible legal and economic landscape
  • labour policies which combine flexibility and social protection 
  • external and internal openness

Beyond the annual competitiveness ranking, this year's report also looks at the issue of diversity and competitiveness. Three categories of diversity were identified: cognitive, identity and preference (or value).
The theme of diversity (collaboration between people with different personalities, knowledge, experience and ideas) was chosen due to its vital role in the link between talent policies and innovation strategies. Focusing on demographic diversity promotes sustainable, innovative development, and enables organizations not only to retain, but also to develop their talents. However, the report notes that diversity comes at a cost: people have not always been trained to work with those they consider to be different from themselves.

Brussels ranked 10th in the global index.

The 2018 GTCI takes into account 68 criteria (compared to 65 in 2017), and covers 119 countries and 90 cities (compared to 118 and 46 in 2017). Once again, the GTCI ranking is dominated by developed, high-income countries.

  • Switzerland retains first place, followed by Singapore and the United States.
  • European countries dominated the GTCI ranking, occupying 15 of the top 25 places.
  • Outside Europe, the best performances this year were Australia (11th), New Zealand (12th), Canada (15th), United Arab Emirates (17th) and Japan (20th) 
  • Latin America performed well in women’s training (Argentina taking 5th place for this criterion).
  • Efforts in education (compared to GDP per capita) were particularly high in Africa (Botswana 1st, Lesotho 2nd and Senegal 5th), proving that the problems in the region have been successfully identified. However, the effectiveness of these investments could be further improved.

The index looks at policies and practices that allow countries to attract, develop and retain the vocational/technical skills and global knowledge associated with innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Or, in other words, the talents that contribute to productivity and prosperity.

Belgium was ranked 9th in the "Grow” pillar, its best performance in the six “pillar” criteria. "Thanks to the quality of its vocational training, and its universities and management schools, Belgium is teeming with talent", enthuses Nico Reeskens, the Adecco Group’s Country Manager for Belgium. Furthermore, Belgium improved significantly in the “Vocational and Technical Skills” pillar, jumping nine places compared to 2017, to 12th place. This was due in particular to its efforts to facilitate searches for qualified employees and the development of secondary skills. Compared to 2017, Belgium improved its score in four of the pillars ("Attract", "Retain", “Vocational and Technical Skills” and “Global Knowledge Skills”). On the other hand, our country lags behind in business-government relations (82nd), the percentage of the workforce with secondary education (46th) and environmental performance (40th).

Eight of the top 10 cities are located in Europe and the other two in the United States. The best-performing cities share certain characteristics. As in the case of countries, over time, a high GDP enables better penetration of technology and creates an ecosystem that favours education, the economy, health and infrastructures. This virtuous circle improves talent competitiveness. Furthermore, the best-ranked universities attract high-quality teachers and researchers, enabling them to provide the labour market with more highly skilled talent. The energy and innovation provided by local leaders (including mayors and talent agencies) can also play a significant role. The impact of dense and effective information networks is particularly important when it comes to attracting and retaining talent, as demonstrated by the performance of "smart cities" such as Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. One city in Belgium is ranked in the top 10: Brussels, which occupies 10th place.

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