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Governments, Employers And Educators: Urgent Action Needed To Address Both European Youth Unemployment And Talent Shortages

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]

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