Maximizing Human Capital in a Rapidly Evolving Economic Landscape (Transatlantic Council Statement)
This report is a Council Statement of the ninth plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration, which was co-convened by the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security in Madrid, and focused on how public and private-sector actors can make smart investments in underutilized workers, including immigrants. The goal of the meeting was to discuss how to maximize the potential of those with skills of all types—including the often-overlooked middle skills. The meeting produced numerous papers covering both global and country-specific issues of skills training and workforce development. This Council Statement serves as the capstone paper of this effort.
The Council identified four guiding principles for reform:
1. Governments should create incentives for employers and social partners to invest in training.
2. Services of all types must be available to all vulnerable populations, and then targeted based on specific issues (language, skills, gender) rather than ethnicity, nationality, or immigration status.
3. Constant evaluation is necessary because solving skills mismatches is not a one-time project, but an ongoing and institutional exercise in which societies must engage.
4. Governments must build partnerships across society to expand access to services and reduce costs.
Driven by these principles, this report details the Council's specific and practical recommendations for ensuring that immigrants have access to job-relevant training and can put their skills to use. The recommendations fall under two main categories: strategies for growing skills within the labor force, and strategies for utilizing skills more effectively, for example through streamlined crediential-recognition systems.
I. Recommendations for Growing Skills: Overcoming Barriers to Workforce Development
II. Recommendations for Using Skills: More Effective Qualifications and Credential-Recognition Systems