The Human Capital Report 2015

Various authors, May 20, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Just for the record, if there's any term I like less than the term 'human resources' (or as it's abbreviated around here, 'resources'), it's the term 'human capital'. The term implies the commodification not only of the talents and skills people possess and can apply in the workplace, but of the people themselves. But that's what we get from the World Economic Forum. So now I haven't read the full 319 page PDF (I spent the day writing a quarterly report - yay!) but it's not the sort of report you read cover-to-cover anyways, as it's mostly a set of league tables comparing countries. They employ three major concepts: learning and employment outcomes, demographics, and a standardized 'distance to the ideal state'. Learning is measured by enrollment, literacy rates (tests like PISA and TIMMS are only available for a few nations), educational attainment and workplace learning. In demographics they look at economic participation, skills, and vulnerability. So who are the 'top 10'? In order: Finland at the top, then Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

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