Poor education, health and safety are pushing people away from South Africa: index

Insead Business School has published its 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), a comprehensive annual report measuring how countries grow, attract and retain talent.

The 2018 GTCI includes 68 variables, covering 119 countries and 90 cities. It found that Switzerland still leads the way in terms of talent competitiveness, followed by Singapore and the United States.

In general, European countries continue to dominate the GTCI rankings with 15 in the top 25.

In addition, the report found that while the top ten countries have several key characteristics in common, they all share one major feature: they all have a well-developed educational system providing the social and collaboration skills needed for employability in today’s labour market.

Rank Country Score
1 Switzerland 79.90
2 Singapore 78.42
3 United States of America 75.34
4 Norway 74.56
5 Sweden 74.32
6 Finland 73.95
7 Denmark 73.79
8 United Kingdom 73.11
9 Netherlands 72.56
10 Luxembourg 71.64

South Africa

South Africa ranked 63rd overall with a score of 41.22.

The report found that while the formal education system is not exemplary (ranked 76th), the private sector does facilitate lifelong learning (24th) and access to growth opportunities (28th), which all help in growing talent in South Africa.

The country also seems open to attracting global talent (it ranks 45th in external openness and 39th in internal openness), and scored highly due to its number of female graduates (ranked  28th), and the prevalence of foreign ownership (ranked 27th).

This means that South Africa’s greatest challenge is in retaining talent (ranked 97th in the world out of 119) the report said.

It found that South Africa is particularly affected by its unattractive lifestyle (where it ranks 114th in terms of personal safety), poor living environment (ranked 72nd), and the poor access to doctors and sanitation facilities (ranked 87th and 91st respectively).

Country Ranking Enable Attract Grow Retain Vocational skills General knowledge skills
Ukraine 61 99 98 66 58 44 42
Botswana 62 46 36 48 90 82 77
South Africa 63 62 40 38 97 67 76
Romania 64 67 75 77 57 76 58
Kuwait 65 65 41 90 52 68 87
Armenia 66 72 63 106 65 56 41
Colombia 67 57 72 45 82 64 71
Turkey 68 61 108 63 59 85 47
Serbia 69 89 102 70 67 58 40
Thailand 70 48 55 69 71 89 68


Read: Some companies could be exempt from having to pay SA’s new minimum wage

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Poor education, health and safety are pushing people away from South Africa: index