FGV study proposes measures to attract skilled labor to Brazil

10 May 2013

The ability to generate, attract and retain talent - according to a national development strategy - is one of the main factors that determine the success of countries in terms of their social and economic development in the contemporary world. So says FGV's Public Policy Analysis Board (DAPP) researcher, Francisco Barreto Araújo, commenting on the challenges of the labor force that nations face today. The issue is one of DAPP?s central concerns, which launched the study Immigration as a strategic vector of socioeconomic and institutional development in Brazil, earlier this year in partnership with FGV Projetos. According to Francisco Araújo, Brazil is going through a turning point, where it is necessary to develop tools that enable it to take advantage of the coincidence between the population demographic transition process, and the fact that the country has become increasingly attractive to migrants from all over the world, in view of the recent resilience against the global economic crisis cycle started in 2008. The time required for current investment in education to generate higher productivity required to support a population of this demographic configuration does not seem to be enough. In this context, migration is essential, because it is able to contribute to the increase of productivity by attracting highly qualified professionals, and it enables the extension of our demographic transition process by attracting young people, explains Francisco. Also according to the researcher, strategic areas such as civil construction, shipbuilding industry, information technology, telecommunications, automation, oil and gas are facing a shortage of skilled labor, and the investments in education currently made ??shall not provide the damage generated by the deficit in investments in earlier generations in the time needed. You could say that the shortage of skilled labor is one of the main bottlenecks that the country must face in the coming years. The educational deficiencies present in Brazil threaten to undermine the country's growth. And he adds. It is precisely due to the deficit effect of suitable investments in education in previous generations, which today is responsible for shaping future generations, that the programs to attract skilled immigrants must alleviate. Francisco mentions as advantages the fact that Brazil is a country with strong democratic institutions, unlike India and China, and has relatively few political, ethnic or religious conflicts. These factors make the country an attractive place for skilled workers. The resumption of growth in the country Brazil is going through a resumption of economic growth, through the promotion and diversification of the economy and the inclusion of large segments of the population into the living standards of the middle class. In addition, major projects and major events that the country is about to host require huge investments in infrastructure and modernization.The phase that Brazil is going through also coincides with the infrastructure investments of the PAC (Growth Acceleration Program), the need for large investments for exploration of the pre-salt, as well as the needs generated by carrying out major international events in the country such as the World Youth Day, the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, Francisco said. The current context makes urgent the presence of qualified professionals in the country. Brazil is going well and has notable areas of excellence, but there are still huge shortages of skilled labor. The complexity of public policies on immigration Francisco Araújo says that, in the case of Brazil, it is necessary to generate the required institutional arrangements so that immigration management policies can be implemented, and talent attraction must be a part of the national development strategy.Public Policies aimed at managing immigration must orthogonally cross different bureaucratic jurisdictions and areas of responsibilities, thus requiring an extraordinary capacity of coordination among government agencies, both in terms of planning and implementation, he explains. The researcher also highlights the multiplicity of issues that such policies must deal with. Policies of immigration control must take into account subjects as diverse as the competence deficits in the labor market, the strategic planning of Science, Technology and Information policy, the partnerships and cooperation connections to be developed in the context of foreign relations, the internal security system of the country, the translatability and validity of documents between different educational systems, issues related to ethnic conflicts management and social integration, among others. Demand for technical level professionals It is important to note that when we speak about the need for skilled labor, we do not refer exclusively to professionals who have university degrees. There is, of course, the growing need for college-educated professionals, as well as professors and doctors, but there is also a great demand for technical level personnel, says Francisco Araújo. According to him, some of the most sought after professionals in the international market have only a technical level of knowledge - including shipping industry welders, information technology (IT) and petrochemicals technicians. About DAPP The Public Policy Analysis Board (DAPP) focuses on the development of policy analysis, the search for specific technologies and methodologies related to this field and innovation through an interdisciplinary approach of applied methods to Social Sciences. The models, studies and methodologies developed by the Public Policy Analysis Board (DAPP) seek to overcome deficits in the ability of planning, monitoring and evaluating government actions, as well as in the dialogue between the government and society through research in multiple subject areas, including Government Transparency, Governance for Innovation, Immigration, Safety and Health.