The European Union, like most developed regions in the world, is suffering from a shortage of skilled employees, including in the sciences, engineering and other technical professions. More immigration is one response:
THE European Union has unveiled legislation to attract skilled migrant workers from outside Europe in an effort to compete in the contest it is losing with the US, Canada and Australia for the brightest staff in high-tech industries.
“We will have a shortage of labour in the future and this is already true of some sectors,” said Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission President, as he announced plans for a single European work visa in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “At the moment, most highly skilled workers go to Canada, the United States and Australia. Why? Because we have 27 different and conflicting procedures in the EU.”
Oh, is that why? Doesn’t have anything to do with rigid labor markets and limits on social mobility? With, dare we say, comparative levels of freedom?
On the broader point, it’s apparent that advanced industrial economies worldwide are adept at creating more skills-demanding jobs than there are employees to fill them. Being a global problem, this “skills gap” cannot be solved alone by an ever-increasing recruitment and importing of employees from other countries. Yes, the United States benefits by bringing in skilled scientists, engineers, IT workers, researchers and the like, and we should adopt visa policies that encourages such immigration.
But demand outstrips supply, globally. So we better be improving our educational and training capacities to develop our own home-grown talent, rather than solely relying on others.
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