The Significance of Improving Talent Mobility Policies in Economic Recovery

Competition for global talents and securing their families to have a safe relocation experience have intensified in the past few weeks, thanks to dwindling COVID-19 cases in California, which now has the lowest infection rate against any US state. 

Just to be sure, though, many organizations are looking into modernizing workforce mobility policies and having rapid responses to future potential threats and as a way to rev up flagging economies.

In April of this year, a joint declaration from the first-ever convening of U.S., Canadian and European relocation and global mobility industry associations (WECAN) did just that. WECAN stands for  Worldwide ERC®, EuRA and Canadian Employee Relocation Council Association Network.

Combining their resources, WECAN is emphasizing the significance of talent mobility in economic recovery. Member countries are now enjoined to start the gargantuan task of rebuilding their respective economies in the following ways: 

Recovery: Provide the skills and resources to help members and networks be part of the economic recovery solution. 

Recruitment. Deliver public policy solutions that ensure businesses can access and relocate the talent they need to rebuild their workforces, industries and economies around the world. 

Recognition. Raise awareness of the value of the many professionals working in the field of employee relocation and the critical role of the global mobility industry in worldwide economic recovery and growth. 

There’s certainly a need to address new challenges in revving up the global economy and solving the millions of jobs lost in the pandemic. In the US, over 100 million working adults do not hold any higher education credentials. Determining the country’s long term economic future is predicated on having higher education, especially retraining.

This is important to point out given that school enrollment fell by 2.5% in fall 2020 and is expected to go down in 2021. Also, states and institutions of higher learning are reportedly underprepared for another recession. 

Rapid Response Action Plan

To address this, a mission-driven consulting firm, Education Strategy Group (ESG) released a toolkit to help higher education leaders prioritize and commit to strategies for urgent reskilling of workers displaced by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The toolkit is part of ESG’s larger Accelerating Recovery through Credentials initiative

The toolkit describes key strategic actions that both institutional and state leaders should consider applying within their contexts as they build their action plans. 

These include ensuring state aid can provide impetus for reskilling adult students. In this scenario, state aid programs may need to do away with the requirement that only full-time enrolled students are eligible and that need-based aid based on merit and open access to community colleges need to be prioritized

Prioritizing allocation of federal stimulus to reskilling is seen as another rapid response. States can encourage institutions to distribute emergency aid to adult learners through the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) funds.

Students who have some college but no degree often carry debts that serve as barriers to re-enrollment. Thoughtful approaches to debt amnesty also need to be reviewed.

Ultimately, focusing on adult higher education to speed up economic recovery will demand a concentrated effort from employers, government and the higher education ecosystem. But things are looking good.

Jobs on the rise, infection rate at its lowest

The state’s Employment Development Department says California has now regained 1.3 million jobs, or 48% of the 2.7 million it lost in March and April of 2020.

California is on a steady pace toward economic recovery, adding more than 100,000 jobs for the third consecutive month in April.

The new numbers show California has become an engine in the nation’s recovery, accounting for 38% of all jobs gained in the US in April. 

It’s also good to hear that California now has the lowest coronavirus infection rate against any state in the US with 40.3 new cases per 100,000 people, according to data released Wednesday, April 21, from the Centers for Disease Control. Hospitals in the Bay Area also saw a decrease of 32 patients in April.

According to the California Department of Public Health, 10.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state and 26% of residents are now fully vaccinated.