UK is one of the top 10 countries for attracting skilled migrants - but lack of vocational training and gender pay gap is holding it back

Hayley Kirton
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Passport control at Gatwick Airport
However, a Brexit could knock the UK's ability to attract highly-skilled workers (Source: Getty)

The United Kingdom has been ranked seventh in the world for attracting skilled migrants, ahead of Germany and France - but behind the United States.

According to research due to be unveiled today at Davos by Adecco Group, Insead and the Human Capital Leadership Institute, Switzerland is most able to attract, develop and retain highly-skilled workers, while the UK maintains its position in the number seven spot for the third year running.

Strong levels of labour productivity have helped the UK rank highly, but the researchers remarked that the country could do even better if it focused on providing better vocational training and fixing gender inequality issues, such as the gender pay gap.

"Skilled foreign workers have helped to establish the UK as a world leader in research and entrepreneurship, yet at the same the lack of people – both British and foreign nationals – with vocational training and skills is holding Britain back," said Alex Fleming, managing director of Adecco Group UK and Ireland.

Top countries for attracting highly-skilled workers

1. Switzerland

2. Singapore

3. Luxembourg

4. United States

5. Denmark

6. Sweden

7. United Kingdom

8. Norway

9. Canada

10. Finland

Fleming continued: "Government and businesses urgently need to find a strategy to correct this skills imbalance. Any such strategy must be facts-based and not guided by emotions.

"The UK should also not rest on its laurels when it comes to its female workforce. The significant gender pay gap is holding back women, which in turn holds back the country."

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Fleming also warned that the impending EU referendum could impact the UK's standing.

"With the referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union looming, this report raises important considerations for policy makers and industry, particularly when it comes to labour mobility," Fleming said.

"Brexit could hinder our ability to attract investment and top talent."

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