Report: Estonia struggles to attract and retain talent ({{commentsTotal}})

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The IMD World Competitiveness Center has released its World Talent Report 2014, which includes a talent ranking for 60 countries that are part of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. The ranking is led by Switzerland, Denmark, Germany and Finland. Estonia occupies the 30th position, seven up from its all-time low in 2013.

The World Talent Report aims to assess the ability of countries to develop, attract and retain talent to sustain the talent pool available for enterprises operating in those economies. The ranking take into account three factors: investment and development, appeal and readiness.

Estonia does best in investment and development, ranking 15th in this area, beating countries like the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, USA and Australia. The investment and development category takes into account factors like expenditure on education, the pupil-teacher ratios, apprenticeship opportunities, employee training and female labor force. Estonia scores its highest rank for the last factor, with 49.09 percent, it has the fourth-largest female labor force among the 60 countries.

However, in 32nd and 39th places, it lags far behind in appeal and readiness, losing out to less-developed countries like Kazakhstan and Romania.

The problems start with the brain drain - based on the survey as to how much brain drains hinders economic competitiveness, Estonia in ranked 48th in this category. At the same time, it is unable to attract enough highly-skilled workers from abroad to fill the vacant positions. This has led to a situation whereby the labor force is not growing but diminishing at the rate of 0.5 percent a year.

Hence, the skilled labor is not readily available, according to the survey. In the skilled labor category, Estonia ranks fourth from the bottom, doing only slightly better than Brazil, Bulgaria and South Africa. The situation is equally bad in terms of the availability of finance skills - Estonia comes up 56th.

According to the respondents, there are also problems with competence and international experience of senior managers.

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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