The international mobility of highly skilled workers, in particular human resources in science and technology (HRST) such as scientists, engineers and IT experts, is currently an important policy issue in the majority of OECD countries. Accompanying the booming demand for skilled labour, especially from the information technology-related industries and professions, there is apparently a growing shortage of such workers in a number of OECD Member countries.
In order to meet these shortages, an increasing number of countries are implementing measures to facilitate the recruitment of foreign skilled workers. Considering that improved knowledge and understanding of these issues are necessary for informing the policy agenda, the OECD held a seminar on "International Mobility of Highly Skilled Workers: From Statistical Analysis to the Formulation of Policies", in Paris on 11-12 June 2001. This seminar was organised by the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) and the Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (DEELSA).
The seminar targeted three main objectives, which are mirrored in the structure of this book, published in January 2002:
Provide data on the scale and characteristics of flows and stocks of skilled and highly skilled foreign workers in the OECD member countries and certain non-member economies: South Africa, China, India, Israel, Russia and Chinese Taipei.
Assess the quality of the data available and the concepts used, and to help improve their comparability. Analyse the mobility of skilled workers and HRST and their impact on the economy through case studies covering most of the major regions sending and receiving these workers.
Examine appropriate migration policies aimed at facilitating the mobility of skilled workers in ways that are beneficial both to receiving and sending countries.
The Global Competition for Talent: Mobility of the Highly Skilled