Most important of all is the role they can play as stepping stones from education to work. Almost three quarters of an employee's development comes through direct work experience on the job.
A further 20 per cent stems from coaching by supervisors and peers, while formal training contributes around 10 per cent. So while high quality and broadly accessible formal training is important, it's direct work experience that's indispensable.
Adecco has tried to foster access to the labour market through national initiatives – particularly in countries, like Italy and France, which are suffering persistently high unemployment, especially among the young.
On a global level, the Adecco Way to WorkTM programme, launched in 2013, involves Adecco employees in more than 50 countries. Young people were offered one-month work placements in leading companies, providing the chance to learn workplace skills in a range of roles across sectors. Some 52 per cent of candidates received job offers at the end of the period.
Adecco has also joined the Nestlé Alliance for YOUth initiative, which combines private companies, European institutions and national governments in the fight against youth unemployment. On the same line, we joined the Global Apprenticeships Network, an international coalition of companies committed to greater investment in work-based training and helping to address global skills shortages.
The 2014 GTCI shows that 'winning with talent' also involves inclusion and openness, which are central components of talent competitiveness. Here too, private-sector employment companies like Adecco can serve. Given their knowledge and relationships with large employers, they can help to reduce the skills imbalance and increase the efficiency of mobility within the labor market.