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ManpowerGroup: Bridging Global Skills Gaps Hinges on Driving Youth Employability

DALIAN, China, Sept. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions and World Economic Forum (WEF) strategic partner, today outlined impactful actions that can be taken to enhance the employability of the world's workforce in order to reduce both global youth unemployment rates and talent shortages.

Jeff Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO, led a session at the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China, titled "Building Capacity for Employment" examining what can be done to build to develop a more employable labor force. Approximately 75 million young people are out of work worldwide, yet millions of jobs remain unfilled — ManpowerGroup's 2013 Talent Shortage Survey found that 35% of employers globally, and more than half of Asian employers, are having difficulty finding workers with the right skills for open positions.

"It is imperative to get young people more engaged in the workforce because if they check out for a prolonged period of time, the risk is that person is lost to the labor market for good as skills life cycles have become shorter. That is something the world cannot afford from a social or economic perspective," said Joerres. "Employers, government, educators and individuals should get around the table and work together to develop a sustainable talent pipeline with the skills businesses need."

The"Building Capacity for Employment" panel addressed questions including:

  • How does a framework for a resilient job market function?
  • Can vocational training solve the problem of the skills mismatch?
  • Can new models of higher education tackle unemployment?
  • How can youth entrepreneurship be fostered, and is this a solution to the broader challenge?

ManpowerGroup recommends that employers forge closer links with educational institutions to ensure the education system includes training that develops young people's workplace competencies such as collaboration and presentation skills. Employers are also advised to adopt a mindset shift, recruiting for potential where an individual demonstrates the right attitude, capacity to learn technical skills and motivation to grow in their role — which ManpowerGroup calls the Teachable Fit TM.

By promoting vocational training, for example through apprenticeships or work placements, employers can provide greater opportunities for young people to gain valuable workforce experience. As companies have become more demanding in terms of the criteria they are looking for in a successful hire, so the need for individuals to remain intellectually curious and continually add to their spectrum of skills becomes of paramount importance.

Last year, Joerres co-chaired the B20 Task Force on Employment, culminating in presenting five scalable global priorities to impact youth and long-term unemployment in particular, at the G20 Leaders' Summit. The B20 called on G20 stakeholders to implement credible, structural labor market reforms and policies that enhance labor market access, competitiveness and productivity while maintaining sustainable social protection systems.

In addition, companies, education systems and education providers are urged to collaborate effectively on "post-crisis" curricula, targeted skill development and skills matching. Also, it was recommended that the number, quality and image of internships be scaled to help young people make the school to work transition, upgrading local programmes and developing a cross-G20 internship and apprenticeship exchange scheme.

"Governments have a major role to play in training, but companies and individuals cannot abdicate their responsibility either," added Joerres. "If all stakeholders join together to act in a more pragmatic way, successful solutions can be put into practice to ease both high youth unemployment rates and skills mismatches, reducing some of the stress that is currently heaped on individuals and employers alike."

Joerres was featured in a recent Economist Intelligence Unit report, "Plugging the Skills Gap: Shortages Among Plenty", which explored the scarcity of skills in various industries as well as skills gaps in various job functions — and ways that these are being addressed. The report is available for download at:

Joining Joerres on the panel were the following participants:

  • Eunice Yoon, Senior Correspondent, CNBC Asia, Hong Kong SAR (Moderator)
  • Omar K. Alghanim, CEO, Alghanim Industries
  • Nancy Laos, Minister of Labour and Employment, Peru
  • José Manuel Salazar Xirinachs, Assistant Director-General for Policy, International Labour Organization (ILO)

About ManpowerGroup

ManpowerGroup™ (NYSE: MAN) is the world leader in innovative workforce solutions that ensure the talent sustainability of the world's workforce for the good of companies, communities, countries, and individuals themselves. Specializing in solutions that help organizations achieve business agility and workforce flexibility, ManpowerGroup leverages its 65 years of world of work expertise to create the work models, design the people practices and access the talent sources its clients need for the future. From staffing, recruitment, workforce consulting, outsourcing and career management to assessment, training and development, ManpowerGroup delivers the talent to drive the innovation and productivity of organizations in a world where talentism is the dominant economic system. Every day, ManpowerGroup connects more than 630,000 people to work and builds their experience and employability through its relationships with 400,000 clients across 80 countries and territories. ManpowerGroup's suite of solutions is offered through ManpowerGroup™ Solutions, Manpower®, Experis™ and Right Management®. ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the third consecutive year in 2013, confirming our position as the most trusted brand in the industry. See how ManpowerGroup makes powering the world of work humanly possible at Follow ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres on Twitter:

SOURCE ManpowerGroup