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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Brain Drain: Where in the World is Everybody Going?

Dave Lee’s post, let’s continue…present challenges. future predications. Got me thinking about some statistics I ran across concerning the brain drain of baby boomer aged executives and leaders retiring over the next few years. Sometimes the concept is thought of as an issue in the United States but the impact is world wide.
  • In Europe, the pool of workers ages thirty-four to forty-four is expected to shrink by 19 percent in the United Kingdom, 27 percent in Germany, and 9 percent in Italy. The Ford Motor Company expects the number of workers older than fifty years to double in its European plants by 2010. Across Europe, baby boomers are already starting to retire, although the first of the European boomers won’t reach age sixty-five until 2011. Many of Europe’s state-funded pension systems encourage early retirement. Currently, 85.5 percent of adults in France quit work by age sixty, and only 1.3 percent work beyond sixty-five. In Italy, 62 percent of adults call it quits by age fifty-five.23

  • In Japan, the number of people between ages fifteen and sixty-four is expected to decline an average of 740,000 a year for the next ten years; already seventeen out of every one hundred people are over age sixty-five, and this ratio will become thirty out of a hundred in fifteen years.

  • China, will have over 265 million sixty-five year olds by 2020.

I think these statistics and others SCREAM for an increased focus on talent management and rapid leadership development (if that is even possible). As people who have the ability to transfer knowledge through the learning interventions we create, we really need to address the gap between the exiting folks and the new comers.

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