KUWAIT CITY, Sept 12, (Agencies): Kuwait ranked 96th out of 130 countries with a score of 56.08 in the Human Capital Report 2017 released by the World Economic Forum. The report ranks countries based on four key areas of human capital development as follows:
1. Capacity: past investment in formal education
2. Deployment: application and accumulation of skills through work
3. Development: formal education of the next-generation workforce and continued upskilling and reskilling of the current workforce
4. Know-how: breadth and depth of specialized skills-use at work Kuwait ranked 105th in capacity with a score of 49.4, 50th in deployment with a score of 67.4, 94th in development with a score of 55.7, and 66th in know-how with a score of 51.8.
Three other GCC countries performed better than Kuwait and other Arab speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa — the United Arab Emirates ranked 45th, Bahrain ranked 47th and Qatar ranked 55th. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in MENA ranked 82nd — several notches ahead of Egypt which is the most populous nation in the region.
Efforts to fully realize people’s economic potential — in countries at all stages of economic development — are falling short due to ineffective deployment of skills throughout the workforce, development of future skills, and adequate promotion of ongoing learning for those already in employment.
Such a failure to translate investments in education during formative years into opportunities for high-skilled, high-quality work during the working lifetime contributes to income inequality by blocking the two pathways to social inclusion — education and work — according to the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report which is published today.
The report measures 130 countries against four key areas of human capital development; Capacity, largely determined by past investment in formal education; Deployment, the application and accumulation of skills through work; Development, the formal education of the next-generation workforce and continued upskilling and reskilling of the current workforce; and Know-how, the breadth and depth of specialized skills-use at work. Countries’ performance is also measured across five distinct age groups or generations — 0-14 years; 15-24 years; 25- 54 years; 55-64 years; and 65 years and over.
According to the Report’s Human Capital Index, 62 percent of human capital has been developed globally at present. Only 25 nations have developed 70 percent of their people’s human capital or more. With the majority of countries leveraging between 50 percent and 70 percent of their human capital, 14 countries nevertheless remain below 50 percent.
A fundamental tenet of the report is that accumulation of skills does not end at a formal education, and the continuous application and accumulation of skills through work is part of human capital development. All too often economies already possess the required talent, but fail to deploy it.
While much is often made of intergenerational inequalities when it comes to the realization of human capital, the Report actually finds that every generation faces considerable challenges when it comes to realizing individual potential. For example, while younger people are consistently better off than older generations when it comes to the initial investment in their education, their skills are not always deployed effectively and too many employers continue to look for ready-made talent.
The problem of under-deployment of skills among the young also affects those coming towards the end of their working life. Meanwhile, few among those currently in employment — across all age groups — are gaining access to higher skilled work and opportunities to enhance know-how. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution does not just disrupt employment, it creates a shortfall of newly required skills. Therefore, we are facing a global talent crisis. We need a new mindset and a true revolution to adapt our educational systems to the education needed for the future work force,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.
“Countries’ strategies for developing human capital should vary according to demographic structure however every country risks creating lost generations if they fail to adopt a more holistic approach to nurturing talent that takes into account a proactive approach to managing the transition from education to employment and to ongoing learning and skills acquisition,” said Saadia Zahidi, Head, Education, Gender and Work, World Economic Forum.