Countries compete to attract foreign workers

This is the result of demographic changes taking place in the world, which will be discussed at the 2023 FIDES in Rio

Responding to the challenges presented by population aging and its effects on the workforce, some countries are already “stealing away” workers from elsewhere, a trend that will intensify in the years to come. Stealing Bundles is a card game in which the winner is the player who has accumulated the highest number of cards. In Latin American countries, the game is known as “Casita Robada”.

This metaphor illustrates quite well the difficulties faced by countries that adopt the policy of attracting qualified foreign professionals. As in the card game, where the limit is set by the number of cards in the deck, the strategy comes up against the limit of the number of workers available who are capable of providing the expected services.

This global labor market scenario also stems from the increased population longevity, which affects the demographic balance and is generally reflected in the economy. Thus, one of the themes of the 38th FIDES Western Hemisphere Insurance Conference is “Growing Longevity: Vision of the Future and Market Repercussions.”

Countries compete for professionals

The government of Portugal recently relaxed its immigration regulations, due to the aging of its workforce. This process is occurring at a time when Brazilians already represent the largest foreign community in the country, accounting for nearly 30% of the foreign residents in Portugal.

A good example of the repercussions of policies to attract foreign workers can be seen in the case of the United Kingdom. By luring nursing professionals from Senegal, offering pay that was up to 15 times the African country’s wages, the British government caused a worker migration that put the entire Senegalese health system at risk of collapsing.

Germany is another country that will increasingly depend on outside workers, in order to retain its place as the driving force of the European Union. German economic institutes point to a growing gap between the number of workers who are about to retire and the young people ready to succeed them in the labor market. The deficit will rise from the current 300,000 job vacancies to 650,000 in 2029.

The German government has already admitted that there will be 5 million unfilled vacancies for the economically active population in 2030. If that labor gap is not closed, the country will face very serious productivity problems. At the moment, Germany has 300,000 job openings. And in the future it will be dependent on both qualified workers in a great many areas and on less qualified personnel, such as caregivers for the elderly.

FIDES Rio 2023

This international conference will take place from September 24 to 26, 2023, in Rio de Janeiro. The event will be held in person and in a different format to that of previous editions. Business leaders, specialists and public officials from more than 20 countries will debate important topics for the insurance industry.