ASTANA – A report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) outlining the current status of human capital in countries around the world came out on May 13, updating the first report from 2013.
Kazakhstan ranked 37th out of 124 countries. The first Human Capital Report (HCR) released in 2013 placed Kazakhstan at 45th on a list of 122 countries.
The HCR ranks countries in terms of how well they are developing and deploying human capital by focusing on education, skills and employment.
“Talent, not capital, will be the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century,” writes Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab in the preface of this year’s publication.
In measuring human capital, the HCR 2015 focuses on learning and employment as well as the demographics of different countries. Divided into five age groups (under 15, 15-24, 25-54, 55-64, and over 65) with corresponding benchmarks, the report highlights positive trends and areas of concern. The report also includes an index of the countries and, by holding all of them to the same standard, allows for a measurement of “distance to ideal state.”
In the report’s learning section, it includes several subthemes related to education: “enrolment in education” and “quality of education,” which impact the future labour force; the “educational attainment” of those already in the labour force; and “workplace learning” – the level of opportunity in a country to acquire new skills through formal on-the-job training as well as learning-by-doing, tacit knowledge and learning from colleagues. These subthemes are distributed across the five age group pillars.
The report’s second major theme, employment, captures several dimensions of activity in the workforce: the “economic participation” subtheme measures the extent to which people of all ages and backgrounds are taking part in a country’s labour market; the “skills” dimension assesses whether people’s knowledge and education are well matched to the economic profile of the country as well as the quality of the employment in which people find themselves; while the “vulnerability” subtheme measures the incidence of exploitative employment relations stifling individuals’ long-term potential.
Kazakhstan (37) and Ukraine (31) are the top scorers among upper- and lower-middle income economies, respectively. Kazakhstan scored slightly better in the youth section than in the general score, 33 in the under 15 category, and 34 in the 15-24 age group, and significantly better in the 55-64 age group (11th place) and 34 in the over 65 grouping.
While the report has many missing values, Kazakhstan scores above average in the categories where information is known.