DEG, BCG Study: Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries can create jobs

  • Study by DEG and The Boston Consulting Group analyses good practices in developing countries
  • Companies, staff, suppliers and society are benefiting

COLOGNE, 25-Jan-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — More than 200 million people worldwide are looking for jobs. Companies at the same time complain about difficulties in filling vacant positions or in finding suitably skilled staff. “These skills gaps – the difference between the skills needed for a job and the capabilities of the workforce – represent a major constraint on social and economic development particularly in developing countries,” says Bruno Wenn, Chairman of the Management Board of DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbh.

The study “Bridging the skills gaps in developing countries: A practical guide for private sector companies”, recently published by DEG, takes a look at how private entrepreneurs can close these skills gaps through appropriately targeted measures implemented at the workforce, suppliers and local communities. In cooperation with the Boston Consulting Group, it was produced as a contribution of the Association of European Development Finance Institutions within the international “Let’s Work” Partnership. The study also provides a guide for practitioners. “Let’s Work” is dedicated to finding solutions to create more and better jobs worldwide.

“If well planned, measures to close qualification gaps constitute a win-win situation for companies and society,” according to DEG Chairman Wenn. “The companies find qualified employees and suppliers and are more firmly established in their local communities. New prospects within the companies are opening up for employees. The suppliers improve their competitiveness, and, finally, the society can benefit from an increase in tax revenues and purchasing power thanks to an increased income”.

The study includes five best practice examples that show how DEG customers from different sectors and countries successfully addressed skills gaps. The measures, partly financed by DEG, range from education and vocational training centres to supplier-development programmes and the establishment of schools and kindergartens.

The case studies also include two German companies: the toy manufacturer Hape and the cement-producing company Schwenk. Hape, for example, produces high-quality wooden toys in China and implemented a three-year training programme for wood-mechanics in order to ensure the quality of its products. A hospital in Brazil is an example of how neighbouring communities can be integrated. The hospital, which had difficulties in hiring auxiliaries for medical tasks such as hygiene, transport and catering, now provides three months of training to low-skilled people from the neighbourhood.

The study concludes with a six-step guide for practitioners that provides concrete recommendations for bridging skills gaps. These range from analysing and prioritising the identified gaps and the underlying causes, to selecting appropriate measures and corresponding cost-benefit analyses, and the actual implementation.

Further information


DEG Press Office
Anja Strautz

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Fax +49 (0) 221 4986-1843



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