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Recommended Reading: Accenture Article on Solving Europe’s Human Capital Challenge


Wed Jul 25 2012


Europe is at a crossroads. Governments have undertaken painful measures to weather the financial storm, and many businesses have put skills development programs on hold. Decision makers will have to actively pursue an agenda focused on skills development, ensuring that they have access to the talent they need.

The human capital challenge will require new ways of thinking about labor issues, and the courage to challenge existing assumptions and conventional wisdom. This is an opportunity for Europe to drive economic growth by developing a more skilled and agile workforce.


This article from Outlook, Accenture’s online journal of high-performance business offers analysis of Europe’s labor market, based on in-depth insights from leading academics and policy experts, as well as a survey of 500 decision makers across Europe from the worlds of business, government and the nonprofit sector. According to the article:

“\[Accenture’s\] approach to addressing Europe’s human capital crisis shares parallels with the strategy undertaken by policymakers in response to the financial crisis: an initial focus on recapitalization to shore up the foundations of success; a push to increase liquidity and get the system moving again; and a broader, systemic review of the institutional architecture that needs to be in place in the future. Our strategy for Europe’s human capital revival focuses on the stock, the flows and the system of workforce development. If Europe can get these elements right, it will be well placed to develop the skills it needs to increase employment and drive economic growth. “

The article outlines three imperatives that are especially critical to more effectively managing today’s skills and employment crisis while helping to position Europe for future growth:

  1. Tap more effectively into existing talent pools

  2. Improve the mobility of skills

  3. Broaden and deepen collaboration


About the authors


Tim Cooper is a senior research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance.

Mark Purdy is a senior executive research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance.

Matthew Robinson is a senior executive research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance.

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