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Confronting the Talent Crunch: 2008

Demographic shifts (aging populations, declining birthrates, economic migration), social evolution, inadequate educational programs, globalization and entrepreneurial practices (outsourcing, cross-border recruiting, on-demand employment) are between them causing shortages, not only in the overall availability of talent but also - and more significantly - in the specific skills and competencies required in industrialized, emerging and developing economies.
Furthermore, as a result of technological advances and productivity gains, many low-skill, routine jobs are being eliminated and once in-demand skills are rapidly becoming obsolete. While this reduces demand for some jobs and, thus, tends to minimize the perceived impact of the talent shortage, it also leaves employees potentially jobless, and both individuals and their labor representatives must take steps to ensure they take advantage of all available opportunities for reskilling and retraining to make themselves suitable candidates in the emerging world of work.

This paper (updated since its original publication in 2006) explores which trends are likely to become more pronounced, and how governments, employers and individuals can prepare themselves to confront the growing talent shortage.

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