World Economic Forum: The Netherlands is four positions down on latest Human Capital Index: skills and knowledge of older age categories are not fully exploited

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published the 2015 edition of its Human Capital Report. This report compares 124 countries with respect to the knowledge, skills and capacity of their respective working-age populations and indicates to which extent these countries are able to exploit and develop their existing human capital.

A full version of the Report (in Dutch) can be found here.

The key findings of the Human Capital Report 2015 are:

1. Nederland drops four positions in The Human Capital Report 2015 ranking.

The Netherlands has moved down four positions in the latest ranking of The Human Capital Report, from 4th to 8th position. While the Netherlands is found in the international top 10 when it comes to the quality of its education system (8th position), the skill sets of its recent graduates are relatively limited in terms of diversity (49th position). In addition, Dutch citizens over 55 only participate to a limited degree in the country’s labour market and face high unemployment levels.

2. The Netherlands can take the Scandinavian countries as an example, which excel when it comes to investing in talent and skills.

The top 3 countries in The Human Capital Report 2015 ranking are Finland (1st position), Norway (2nd position) and Switzerland (3rd position). The Scandinavian nations, and particularly Finland, distinguish themselves from other countries through their outstanding education systems, low drop-out rates, large number of highly-trained young people, ease in recruiting trained personnel and strong attention to further education for employees.

3. Germany, Singapore, the UK and the US are remarkably absent in the top 10 of outstanding working-age populations.

Germany, Singapore, the UK and the US can usually be found in the top 10 of most competitive economies compiled by the World Economic Forum and published in its Global Competitiveness Report. However, these countries are not included among the 10 leading nations in The Human Capital Report 2015. Relatively high unemployment rates in their 15-24 age groups combined with the relatively low level of labour market participation of their 55-64 age groups have earned these countries a comparatively low position in The Human Capital Report ranking.

The institute INSCOPE Research for Innovation of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), one of the partners of the World Economic Forum (WEF), has collected the relevant data for the Netherlands under the direction of Henk Volberda, Professor of Strategic Management & Business Policy at RSM.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on this research, please contact Prof. Henk W. Volberda on +31 6 1297 2233; or by email at

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