How can Europe compete with the US and other countries for the best experts?


In comparison to other OECD members, the EU is at a competitive disadvantage in attracting highly skilled talent, but intensifying common efforts and the more active involvement of Public Employment Services can improve this situation. 

Most EU Member States suffer from a long-term shortage of skilled labour in various sectors due to demographic and technological changes. However, of all non-EU migrants coming to OECD countries, 68% of the highly educated foreign workers, university students and entrepreneurs choose a non-European destination (mostly US, Canada, and Australia ranking high on the OECD Indicators of Talent Attractiveness). 

Though currently managed mainly by non-state actors, the effective recruitment and integration of high-skilled migrants necessitates state intervention in several aspects. Beside regulating entry and residence in the host country, the state may play a role in providing impartial and up-to-date information to jobseekers and employers, cooperating with public authorities in the sending countries, and facilitating labour market and social integration in the host country. Recent studies also identified some common obstacles where the state has a clear role, for example the recognition of skills and qualifications and discrimination in the recruitment process. 

In a recently published study, Budapest Institute researchers review the current situation and explore the role and activities of public employment services (PES) in alleviating skills shortages through talent recruitment from outside the EURES area. 

The study was prepared for the DG Employment of the European Commission. It discusses the need for a high-skilled labour force from third countries, analyses current EU strategies and the current role of PES in national immigration strategies. It discusses the potential for expanding the role of PES and other actors, analyses existing challenges and best practices, and provides recommendations for several actors, including the PES Network.

You can read more about the project here.