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Talent abounds in Switzerland, says OECD

Lyssandra Sears · 21 May 2012, 09:08

Published: 21 May 2012 11:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 May 2012 09:08 GMT+02:00

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A new study by the OECD has found that Switzerland has a very high proportion of the world’s most sought-after workforce.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has found that of the 6.2 million people judged as having the most sought-after skills in the world, some 200,000 live in Switzerland, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

The majority of those living in Switzerland are from the expat community, who are attracted, together with their families, to the country’s high quality of life as well as to top salaries.

A recent study conducted in Basel also showed that expats earn more than their Swiss counterparts for the same work, Tages Anzeiger reported. The study found that the Swiss were happy with their salaries, but that the expats had made acceptance of the overseas job conditional on a higher salary.

The numbers of expats in Switzerland are causing the cost of living to rise. This is leading to concerns that locals are being priced out in cities like Zug, where rents have become prohibitively high due to the amount of accommodation occupied by employees of the foreign companies registered there.

The study also found that foreigners are staying longer in Switzerland on average than previously, and although often being part of groups where only the home language is spoken, are nevertheless becoming more involved in Swiss life.

Ex-pat parents are also becoming more interested in the state schools in Switzerland, not only because the state school system is better in Switzerland than elsewhere, but also because repatriation packages often only include school fees for the first couple of years.

Although many of the world’s most talented people living in Switzerland come from abroad, there are some 107,000 highly talented Swiss people living abroad.

“There are many Swiss who are active in the senior ranks abroad," recruiter for managing director of recruiting firm Egon Zehnder International, Philippe Hertig, told the paper.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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