A very particular ranking related the level of attention and investment in education systems and in the people development. With very surprising positions in the top ten!

Skills represent the most important and strategic resource for any country in order to assure progress, the investment in human capital.

But what are the countries in the world that value their human capital better than others?

The World Economic Forum has created the Human Capital Report in 2017, a worldwide study based on some indicators such as elementary school enrollment rate, secondary school enrollment rate, gender diversity, literacy, math, employment rate, staff training, and so on.

And here is this particular ranking, really unforgiving for Italy!

  1. Norway: a monument to education because of qualification and employment.
  2. Finland: excellent for development (educating young people and re-skilling workers), high quality of the educational system, capacity (breadth of skills used at work). Despite youth unemployment at 20%.
  3. Switzerland: high quality education system, including staff training. Good also for intensive skills and employment.
  4. USA: the best educational system outside Europe.
  5. Denmark: an educational system of absolute quality, especially for primary and secondary schools.
  6. Germany: the first big European country in the ranking.
  7. New Zealand: a high score related to the quality of the education system,
  8. Sweden: excellent performance although the quality of the systems is lower than that of Norway and Finland.
  9. Slovenia: excellent position for skills and know-how.
  10. Austria: consolidated training system and high skills diversity.

The surprising result is that countries states in the world in general have developed only 62% of human capital: this means that countries in the world are wasting, on average, 38% of their talents.

The countries that are doing better are the ones with deep reforms of their education systems. The idea of an education that begins at primary school and ends at high school or university is a relic of the past: modern economies are increasingly based on knowledge, driven by technology and globalized. That means many people will do jobs that do not yet exist, with a growing need to re-skill those already working and to adequately train those who do not work, the youth.

The concept of a life-long learning is very strong, since the skills are dynamic: not only basic technological skills (how to use word processing and spreadsheets), but also soft skills, such as leadership and problem solving.

On the one hand, companies will have to start approach people as an investment to be valued in order to assure innovation and social impact, rather than a cost to be minimized; on the other, governments will have to reform the #educationsystems to make people central in future world.

The ranking shows that some countries are succeeding: it amazes and saddened to have to run through this ranking up to 35th place to find Italy, that is in 41st place for enrollment rate in primary and secondary school, and even at 107th place for unemployment and underemployment! And it makes me dizzy to see Italy behind countries like Bulgaria, Malaysia or even Kazakhstan!

Congrats to them: with humility and vision, they have deeply reformed the education systems to invest everything on youth!

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