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Governments, Employers and Educators: Urgent Action Needed to Address Both European Youth Unemployment and Talent Shortages

ManpowerGroup President Leads Employer Discussions at Summit in Madrid Attended by Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

May 21, 2013, 11:47 ET from ManpowerGroup

MADRID, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), the world leader in innovative workforce solutions, today led discussions on the European skills gap and talent shortage as part of Laureate International Universities' "The Laureate Summit on Youth and Jobs in Europe". The timeliness of this important event is reinforced by the latest figures showing youth unemployment approaching 60 percent in Greece and Spain[1]. The paradox is that while unemployment remains high, employers in Europe are still struggling to find the talent they need.


The summit is comprised of three panels and a concluding discussion session with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Each of the panels represents a different perspective on the issue: business, government, and educators, with Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President, leading a panel of top executives from European-based business leaders in the discussion of their workforce challenges.

Prising moderated the summit's first plenary session "Perspective of the Employer: Why the Mismatch? The Disconnect Between Higher Education and Hiring—Addressing the Skills Gap and Talent Shortage." Prising focused the panel's discussions around the unemployment-talent shortage paradox; the multi-stakeholder collaboration needed to develop training and development programs; the importance of practical work experience and the short and long-term actions business leaders can take to both attract and retain talent.

"Globally, we are seeing employers consistently struggling to find the talent they need. Available workers, especially youth, often simply do not possess the key skills employers are looking for, indicating a clear mismatch between educators and employers in preparing young people for the workplace," said Prising. "With worryingly high unemployment figures in Europe, it has never been more pressing for employers, governments and educators to work together to build a brighter future for our young people, for our businesses and for Europe."

According to a 2012 study of employers, students and educators by McKinsey & Co., only educators believe that today's young people are adequately prepared for the workforce. Just 42 percent of employers agree this is the case, while only 45 percent of young people believe they are adequately prepared for their future.[2]

During the summit, Prising will discuss solutions businesses can take to alleviate the talent shortage, for example embracing flexible work models and considering alternative talent sources, and partnering with local education institutions to cultivate a talent pipeline, for example apprenticeships that facilitate learning by doing. The recent B20 Task Force on Employment, co-chaired by ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres, recommended enhancing links between business and education systems to ensure that curricula are designed to provide an appropriate mix of general and specific skills that support long-term growth. At the core of the work by the B20 Task Force is the belief that business leaders can play a leading role in catalyzing employment growth.

Joining Prising at the "Perspective of the Employer: Why the Mismatch? The Disconnect Between Higher Education and Hiring—Addressing the Skills Gap and Talent Shortage" plenary were the following panelists:

  • Dr. Matthias Afting, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Human Resources and Organization, Vorwerk & Co. KG.
  • Mr. Jesus Galindo, Public Sector Director, Cisco Systems Spain
  • Mr. Luís Palha da Silva, Deputy CEO, Galp Energia
  • Mr. Ali Pandir, Fiat/Chrysler, Turkey Country Head
  • Mr. Alejandro Pociña, President and CEO, AF Steelcase S.A.

The results of ManpowerGroup's eighth annual Talent Shortage Survey will be released on 28 May 2013. The survey of nearly 40,000 employers in 42 countries and territories during the first quarter of 2013 explores the impact of talent shortages on the global labor market and how employers are responding to the challenges raised by the lack of available talent in specific job categories. The accompanying insight paper, The Great Talent Shortage Awakening: Actions to take for a Sustainable Workforce, details strategies business leaders can take to tackle these talent shortages and will be available at 

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:

[1] Eurostat, 30 April 2013 
[2] Mourshed, M., Farrell, D., & Barton, D.  (2012). Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works. McKinsey Center for Government. at McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from:, April 19, 2013

SOURCE ManpowerGroup

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