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Europe is underachieving in the global competition for talent

Sep 27, 2016 | News

(08 June 2016) – The European Union should reform its legal labour migration policies to get its fair share of the global talent pool, according to a new report published by the OECD.


Europe is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and this requires a coordinated, bold and comprehensive response by Member States. This does not diminish, however, the importance of addressing the challenges related to the management of legal labour migration in Europe. The long-term competitiveness of the EU and its ability to move to a strong and sustainable growth path is at stake.

Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Europe finds that migrants to the EU are younger and less well educated than those in other OECD destinations. Of the total pool of highly-educated third-country migrants residing in EU and OECD countries, the EU hosts less than one-third (31%), while more than half (57%) are in North America.

Some progress has been made in the past decade, with a sizeable increase in the share of highly educated among recent migrants — from 21% of the total in 2000 to 36% in 2011. But this is still less than received by North America (41%) or Australia and New Zealand (52%).

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