Switzerland remains most attractive country for skilled workers

Switzerland's vocational training system is one of the reasons for its top position in the index Keystone

Switzerland continues to lead the world in talent competitiveness, having held the number one spot since the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) was launched in 2013. 

This content was published on January 22, 2020 minutes

According to the 2020 indexExternal link, the three main reasons for Switzerland’s top position are the country’s high quality of life (interesting jobs, high salaries and good career opportunities), its dual education system which combines education with vocational training, and its good legal and economic framework. 

The report, by researchers from business school INSEAD in partnership with recruiters Adecco and Google, was published on Wednesday.

Switzerland performs very well when it comes to lifelong learning and sustainability, and it also offers individuals the opportunity to complete training and pursue a career regardless of their economic status. The country ranks second in the Social Mobility category. 

It’s not all good news, however. Switzerland did poorly in terms of internal openness, i.e. the social integration of minorities, coming 16th in the Internal Openness section. 

Compared internationally, Switzerland also scores very poorly in the Gender Equality section: it is in 91st place for Female Graduates, i.e. the proportion of female graduates whose highest level of education is in a tertiary education category. 

Statistics show that women in Switzerland are better educated than men at a young age, but that they ultimately lose a lot of ground when it comes to further education, the report said. 

“Swiss women generally choose to reduce their working hours considerably and so correspondingly invest less into their own further training,” said Nicole Burth, CEO of the Adecco Group Switzerland. 

Switzerland also performs below average in terms of gender-specific differences in health, knowledge and income (the “gender development gap” as it is otherwise known). 

City ranking 

The ranking of 132 countries saw the United States move from third place to second, pushing Singapore down one place compared with 2019.  

New York tops the ranking of 155 cities this year, followed by London, Singapore, San Francisco and Boston. Zurich came 17th and Geneva 34th. The authors attributed New York’s leading position to its strong performance across four of the five pillars measured in the research, specifically in the “Enable”, “Attract”, “Grow” and “Global Knowledge Skills” categories. 

Generally cities with a proven ability for “future readiness” ranked highly, the report said, with activities in fields including AI, fintech and medtech, favouring the talent performance of the top five.

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