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Skills: the Engine that Could

Can skills change the world? Can they fill in the void and bridge gaps? Drive cross country labor and education migration, flow capital, transform careers and lift economies on a worldwide scale?

They can. They already do. But this Engine can steam and haul for greater impact.

Skills are the binding glue connecting talent with career opportunity. Leave it to serendipity or to calculated match making, the magic happens when the right talent and the right opportunity meet. Have you ever wondered: “What skills make you great at what you do?” or “What great things would you do if you only had which skills?” By factoring in “skills” as the logic engine that powers product relevancy algorithms, you can recommend the right opportunity to the right talent and make calculated match making seem like serendipity.

The global marketplace: skills gap by geo split

Different markets have different skill gaps and priority needs. For example, in many international markets, English is a pre-requisite skill for job hire and only locally-credited English course certificates, like TOEFL, are accepted for job application. In the US, specialized skills like “SAP,” “Hadoop” or “Ember Engineering” are on-demand in the high-tech industry. There are other factors, like local industries, social structures, and economic landscape, that shape the skills mapping and geographic mobility in pursue of new opportunities.

For example, Germany is Europe’s strongest economy, with only 2% unemployment in Bavaria; 4% in greater Germany (vs 15% in Portugal). Therefore, labor migration from Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Turkey into Germany is common. Also, birthrates are low in Germany, which means that the local workforce, over time, relies more on young skilled talent from out of country. According to Telefonica Millennial study, while >50% of Germans have international job aspirations, only 10-20% actually spent time abroad. This is a market with high GDP and declining workforce, where 75% of women drop out of the workforce within 3 years (although they make 60% of university graduates, vs only 40% men).

Similarly, workforce in UAE, Qatar, and Saudi (80% and 50% respectively) heavily relies on expertise talent from out of country to bridge the local labor skills gap. 82% of professionals in Saudi, for example, hold jobs that do not match their skills and qualifications, and companies compromise requirements to fill in posts. Talent migration into these countries typically comes from the US, UK, Australia, and India. Matching relevant jobs with relevant talents based on skill requirements and location transition probability grows global economies. But even better, matching relevant skills, and certificate courses to acquire those skills, with people’s aspirational jobs, based on regional skill gaps, grows local economies and drives individual fulfillment. This is applicable not only on a country-level, but also on a company-level, with internal skills training for internal career mobility.

An act of balance

Like tightrope walking, digital matching between the right talent and the right opportunity on a global scale is an act of balance. It requires relevancy builds that balance multi-lingual and multi-geo factors. And it requires an extensive library of standardized internationalized skills definitions.

*Tightrope walking is (literally and figuratively) the highest skill per-capita in Dagestan, due to the region’s mountainous and cross-canyon landscape.

“The most important skill is the ability to learn.” Robin Hoyle
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