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UK Ranks 10th in Global Talent Competitiveness, Concerns over Vocational Training

The United Kingdom has secured the 10th position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index, maintaining its spot within the top 10 after slipping out in 2020.

Switzerland, Singapore and the United States firmly retain their leading positions as the world’s most talent competitive countries, with Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Australia and Sweden also beating the UK.

During 2019-2023, The United Kingdom ranked 11 out of a total 113 countries, which is lower than the average rank of 7 in GTCI 2013-GTCI 2018. The country is regarded as a talent champion because its GTCI score in the latter five-year period is higher than in the former period (up by 6.4 percent) and because it has a higher-than-average score in GTCI 2023 (for the sample considered): 73.75 against an average of 47.77.

In GTCI 2023, The United Kingdom is ranked 10 out of a sample of 134 countries, which means that it has featured in the top 15 every year since the launch of the GTCI and in the top 10 eight times, including this year. It features in the top three (2nd) for its ability to Grow talent, primarily thanks to the impact of its world-class tertiary education and programmes for Formal Education and Lifelong Learning, for which it is ranked 3rd and 2nd, respectively. The United Kingdom also achieves 2nd-place ranking in the Global Knowledge Skills pillar, where its highly innovative and entrepreneurial economy result in a large Talent Impact (also 2nd).

However, the impressive level of global knowledge skills stands in stark contrast to the country’s comparatively weak position (29th) for Vocational and Technical Skills. There is considerable scope to raise its ranking in the Mid-Level Skills sub-pillar (from 44th), and to boost its 20th position for Employability by better matching workforce supply and labour market demand.

European countries continue to dominate the Top 25, with 17 of them ranked. Beyond Europe –Canada, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, and Israel join the top 25. UAE has moved up from 25th to 22nd while Japan dropped out, replaced by South Korea (24th).

Felipe Monteiro, Co-author of the report, Academic Director of the GTCI and INSEAD Senior Affiliate Professor of Strategy, said:

“This has been an exciting and eventful decade for the global talent scene (and beyond). With support and contribution from the business sectors and global employers, GTCI has established itself as a global reference on the Talent Competitiveness stage.”

Bruno Lanvin, Co-author of the report, Distinguished Fellow at INSEAD and Founder and President of Descartes Institute for the Future, declared:

“For the past 10 years, GTCI has been at the forefront of benchmarking and analytical thinking in the areas of labour markets, work organisation and talent flows. It is now time to look at the future. Talent competition will be one of the pillars of the next age of globalization. Our collective ability to make the world less unequal, and the planet more sustainable will depend heavily on our capacity to grow, attract and nurture the right talents.”

Titled “What a difference ten years make – and what to expect for the next decade”, the GTCI 2023 is published by INSEAD, in collaboration with Descartes Institute for the Future, and the Human Capital Leadership Institute.  The 10th edition of the report covers 134 countries around the world across all income groups.

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