The Philippines scored high in the 2017 edition of the Global Human Capital Index, placing 50 out of 130 countries.
The index is an insight tool and annual publication of the World Economic Forum (WEF) System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work. WEF published the 2017 edition of the report through a research collaboration with LinkedIn, the social network of business professionals.
TeleDevelopment Services, a talent solutions partner of LinkedIn, and WeRK.ph, a multi-channel and multi-platform digital recruitment and digital marketing company, support the findings of this report.
The 2017 report aims to shed light on how countries fare on current and potential human capital development. Further, it aims to support leaders in assessing current outcomes and developing future strategies.
“Generally, index leaders are high-income economies with a longstanding commitment to their people’s educational attainment, and that have placed correspondingly high importance on building their future human capital potential, and deployed a broad share of their workforce in skill-intensive occupations across a broad range of sectors,” the 2017 report said.
Smaller European countries in the Nordics plus Switzerland are in the Top 10 of 2017. The United States and Germany also top among the world’s major economies.
In the Top 20, four countries from East Asia and the Pacific region got top scores. Also in the Top 20 are three countries from the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. Israel is the only country from the Middle East and North Africa region making the Top 20.
Countries in the East Asia region like Singapore (11), Japan (17), and South Korea (27) are global strongholds of human capital success. However, countries like Laos (84), Myanmar (89), and Cambodia (92) fall behind, despite having high scores in human capital deployment sub-index.
Moreover, while Sri Lanka (70) scored high, other countries from South Asia like Nepal (98), India (103), Bangladesh (111) and Pakistan (125) lag behind, WEF said.
WEF said the 2017 report is proposing a new benchmark for leaders to build the workforces of the future.
“The approach it advocates, based on the principle that all people deserve an equal opportunity to develop their talents, provides leaders with the means and the tools to navigate the changes we are already witnessing from the current wave of automation and successfully navigate the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” it said.
Further, it said the index aims to measure the quantifiable potentials of the global workforce. Talents should be measured based on “ability to acquire, develop and deploy skills throughout their working life,” the report said.
It noted that the coming generation would be more connected and globalized than ever. This generation would enter the workforces with very different aspirations, expectations, and worldviews than their predecessors.
The report said global education systems seemed disconnected from the skills needed to function in labor markets. It said education must be geared toward meeting the needs of the future digital workforce.
“The exponential rate of technological and economic change is further increasing the gap between education and labor markets,” it said.
Furthermore, it said the premise of current education systems has been on developing cognitive skills. However, it cited the importance of behavioral and non-cognitive skills, nurturing an individual’s capacity to collaborate, innovate, and solve problems.
“The divide between formal education and the labor market needs to be overcome,” it said. Learning, research and development, knowledge-sharing, retraining, and innovation must take place simultaneously. And this is throughout the work life cycle, regardless of the job, level or industry, it added.
“Governments, business leaders, educational institutions and individuals must therefore understand the magnitude of the contextual changes underway, assess current outcomes on human capital and then rethink their approaches to valuing, developing and deploying human capital comprehensively,” it stressed.
In collaboration with LinkedIn, the report included data on cross-functional skills and ICT skills in the workforce. The data came from the most commonly mentioned skills across LinkedIn’s global membership.
“Younger LinkedIn members are more likely to report mastery of office software, social media, teamwork, and time management,” it added. “Those from older generations are more likely to point to their management skills and skills in strategic planning.”
It compared cross-functional skills for those who took up engineering, manufacturing and construction, and ICT. “They are particularly likely to report having developed project management skills, but less likely to report having developed customer service skills as well as leadership skills,” the WEF report said.
“The data validates the notion that employers must not expect ready-made cross-functional skills but instead consider the development of these skills in the workplace an investment. At the same time, the data also points to opportunities for education systems to include more practical experience in cross-functional skills in addition to the formal specialization offered,” the WEF report added.
It cited ICT skills in the use of databases (SQL) and web technologies (web design, Javascipt, CSS, PHP). Also, it mentioned ICT skills in graphic design (Adobe Creative Suite), and upskilling and re-skilling programs in hiring.
“The expansion of the digital economy is accelerating the presence of a new kind of productive entity, somewhere between human capital and physical capital—robots and intelligent algorithms. As a result, some experts expect a potential reduction in the use of human labor as part of economic value creation. Others expect a restructuring of the work done by people across economies,” it said.
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