4 November 2010

Where do we get workers if all are grey?Waar halen we werknemers vandaan in een tijd van vergrijzing?Where do we get workers if all are grey?Where do we get workers if all are grey?

About Hugo Messer

Hugo Messer is a Dutch entrepreneur, distributed agile team specialist, and author. He is the founder and owner of Bridge Global, a software services provider, and ekipa.co., an agile coaching agency. He has been building and managing teams around the world for the past several years. His passion is to enable people that are spread across cultures, geography and time zones to cooperate. Whether it’s offshoring or nearshoring, he knows what it takes to make global cooperation work.

7 thoughts on “Where do we get workers if all are grey?Waar halen we werknemers vandaan in een tijd van vergrijzing?Where do we get workers if all are grey?Where do we get workers if all are grey?
  1. Hi

    The biggest challenge is political then any thing else, for e.g. In Sweden this time little more then 4% of votes went to SD which are opposed to immigration and I feel bit of pain for them, since as a country I would like preserve the culture rather then loose it, the advantage with America is that it speaks English but in Europe there are so many small country each having their own language America was made out of immigrants it would also be good to look at UK where people are not happy with open arms immigration i.e. invite anyone to fill in (that’s not my personal view) I think Europe should be open to selective immigration i.e. invite best of the best in each field.

    Only way to solve integration problem is to have job in hand or temporary job where you learn the language for e.g. My wife has a degree in economics when we moved to Sweden she didn’t knew a single word of Swedish and no body was interested in giving her job because of lack of language skills. She gave quite a lot of time to learn the language but in my view you need to work or study to actually learn the language but nobody was willing to give her a chance before she could speak the language. She applied to like 500 jobs after struggling for 1 year she finally got a job in same field and guess what she is best performer in her office. She got awards multiple time for being hardworking and always willing to extra mile to make sure things get done. There are so many like her in different fields who are not fluent but willing to learn but nobody is willing to give them a chance.

    Europe should build a society where R&D is main source of economy it is the only way of surviving. India and China is strong work force but they lack in R&D. It doesn’t matter who codes application like facebook what matters is that its a person in US who thought of this concept and is making money out of it that too from countries like India. Future is in building knowledge and not in manufacturing.


  2. As always, interesting articles. Is this demographic shift toward an older population uniform throughout Europe? Or are some countries in central and east Europe still growing? That may be an opportunity within the challenge for Europe.

  3. While immigration had been a boon to US it’s a problem for Europe and that’s why it’s gaining so much political and social mileage.

    Immigration to US had primarily been of skilled personnels. Scientists, engineers, doctors, creme of the students all had gone to US for work or continuing their studies and some decided to stay. It had contributed immensely on positive side to all involved i.e. the

    1) Native’s nation : by remittances, better learned manpower, cultural exchange
    2) Immigrant themselves : better quality of life, more opportunistic
    3) Host nation : better skilled population

    Unfortunately, not all of above is true of Europe. In ultra liberal laws and social acceptance, European nations adopted ailing population of many countries and put them in welfare. How are these two sceneries similar? Because most of the immigrants like these are illiterate, don’t speak native tongue (Indians migrating to US has years of English learning) and are culturally too different to respect local laws. I would say these two sceneries are incomparable and Europe should revamp whole idea of immigration before passing on judgments around it. They certainly should learn from US.

  4. Ultimately robots and software will ease the demand-supply gaps.

    Extending the retirement-age to beyond 58/60 will be the common thing in future.

    So far, illegal immigrants and next generation of immigrant population are taking care of much demand of the society.

    African continent has the highest population growth and has good number of young people ready to serve the continent. Similarly, one can expect young immigrants from under-developed economies of other continents.

  5. Hello Hugo:

    Is Under impression that we have workers with Grey cell which are meeting the deadlines.


  6. I’m not sure I get what your question above is, other than an invite for reading your blog.

    But there are a few things I disagree with what you write:

    1. US is NOT open to immigrants.
    Unless you are lucky and get a blanket H1-B, or can wait for years for a regular H1-B, OR are lucky to have USC siblings, OR you are lucky to win the green card lottery, they are not open.
    That includes spousal visas. You’d think it wouldn’t take 5 years to get a green card when married to a US citizen? Think again. That’s the kind of “openness” to immigration that’s more closer to reality, unless one is willing to go “gray” and undocumented, limiting oneself to the jobs in the gray market.

    2. EU is not going to suffer for the lack of young population.
    The borders (especially South) are not exactly immigration proof, and both the “locals” and immigrants (including those of any other EU country) keep the population growth high enough, resulting in population growth. Look at birth rates of e.g. UK or Finland for the past few years.

    If you mean outsourcing with “offshoring” there’s no reason why EU should go “offshoring” as far as India. Currently there are plenty of service industry (phone) jobs that are outsourced in countries where it’s a) cheaper to hire people and in temporary basis and b) easy to get people speaking fluently enough the languages that are being requested by the vendor. So instead of the classical choices such as Ireland, there are plenty of companies that want the same jobs “offshored” to Greece, Portugal, Romania… it tends to be easier to find e.g. German speakers in those countries.

    By the way, if you outsource everything you can, what do you need those workers for? The people with skills tend to want to go where they can get the best and best paid jobs if they can, so if those jobs are available in other countries, there isn’t really incentive for the skilled to stay.

    That’s where the politics come in play.

    Personally, I don’t care where someone comes from for a job, as long as they are legal, and are the best person for the job in question.

  7. I liked your article. I think Europeans (in this case including Ukrainians) underestimate the influence of ageing on their life. In the nearest future younger people will not be able to pay for all senior citizens. Ukrainians already suffer… from overly high taxes, and instead of creating good business environment and inviting immigrants, our government raises taxes even more. With such a policy Ukraine will face the decay in the nearest future. Western Europe has more time to think about this problem, but if EU chooses to keep the borders closed – for immigrants, outsourcing and offshoring – European economy will fall, and it will fall tremendously.

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