Denmark wins silver in global talent competition

For the fifth year running, Denmark has ranked second in the annual World Talent Ranking compiled by the Institute for Management Development (IMD).
Attracting skilled labour remains a challenge, however, according to the director of research and higher education at the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri, DI).

Denmark would receive silver if the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) gave out medals in its annual World Talent Ranking, having, for the fifth consecutive year, finished in an impressive second place – surpassed only by Switzerland, writes

“It is excellent news that Denmark ranks second for the fifth consecutive year – although it would be wonderful to beat Switzerland and take first place next year. Delving into the numbers, it becomes clear that Denmark is an attractive place for talents. But we don’t quite manage to make it all the way to the top. That surprises me – because there is much to be gained from bringing bright minds and skilled hands to Denmark,” said Mette Fjord Sørensen, DI’s director of research and higher education.

The IMD report examines countries’ performance in three main categories: appeal, readiness and investment and development.

Denmark ranks first in investment and development, seventh in appeal and eighth in readiness. But each category conceals certain nuances.

“Denmark ranks first in investment and development. That’s good, but it’s important to remember that the IMD includes Denmark’s state education grants (SU) in its calculations,” Sørensen said.

“Due to the re-prioritisation policy [Danish: omprioriteringsbidrag, ed.], the disproportion between state student grants and expenditure on education in Denmark has become greater since 2016, meaning we actually spend less on education than on grants. That’s a shame! We would rather spend resources ensuring high-quality programmes than on giving students money for beef in their bolognese,” she added.

Several of the parameters are based on surveys among businesses and Denmark is generally highly ranked in their responses. In nine out of 17 indicators, Denmark ranks within the top five, and the lowest ranking is 18th.

“In the vast majority of parameters, businesses are very optimistic on Denmark’s behalf. But attracting qualified workers is a challenge. That applies to both Danish and international talents, whom companies expect will become more difficult to recruit in the future,” said the director of research and higher education at DI.