Philippines Climbs 6 Places in World Talent Ranking 2019, Third Most Improved Workforce in the World


The Philippines jumped six notches in the World Talent Ranking 2019, an annual survey by Swiss business school International Institute for Management Development (IMD). The Philippine workforce landed at 49th place on the list of most skilled workforce economies in the world. This a leap for the Philippine workforce after the country settled at 55th place in 2018, among the lowest of the 63 economies included in the study.

The IMD World Talent Rankings assesses three factors in a country’s economy: Its ability to develop homegrown talent, its appeal or ability to attract local and foreign talent, and its readiness and quality of the workforce’s skills and competencies.

The Philippines had one of the largest improvements in this year’s rankings, thanks to the increase of available skilled laborers, a higher percentage of graduates in the sciences, and the availability of language skills. IMD also noted how the prioritization of employee training contributed to the country’s improvement, as well as a more motivated workforce and competent senior managers.

The Philippines was the third most improved country in this year’s rankings, with a score of 48.41. It ranked low its ability to develop the workforce, placing at 61st place. However, the country ranked relatively well in attracting talent (31st place) and readying the workforce (26th place).

According to IMD, apprenticeships in the Philippines are sufficiently implemented and employee training is a priority in companies. Worker motivation is high and foreign highly skilled personnel are attracted to the country’s business environment. Moreover, finance skills, skilled labor, and competent senior managers are readily available in the economy.


However, the Philippines ranked low in the following factors: health infrastructure, brain drain, quality of life, justice, pupil-teacher ration in both primary and secondary education, and quality of primary and secondary education.

Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, and Luxembourg were ranked as the best economies at developing, attracting, and retaining talent. Singapore was crowned the leading talent economy in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, landing at 10th place above both Australia and New Zealand.

Now at 20th place, Taiwan was the most improved country in Asia, as well as the world, as a result of increased worker motivation and finance skills. In an unexpected turn of events, Japan experienced the largest decline in rankings, dropping six spots to 35th place, due to a slump in brain drain and poor worker motivation.

According to IMD, economies become successful because of long-term investment and development in the workforce. The report goes on to state that this investment “goes beyond purely academic aspects and encompasses the effective implementation of apprenticeship program and employee training.”

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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