Switzerland and Sweden the top in Europe for skilled foreign workers and students

epa03642762 A general view of Stockholm city centre, with one of city landmarks, the Gamla Stan (old city) with the tower of the German church (C) and Storkyrkan church (C-L) as seen from Slussen, Stockholm, Sweden, 10 March 2013. At right from German church is the roof of the Royal Palace. EPA/MAURITZ ANTIN

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Switzerland and Sweden are the most attractive locations for highly qualified foreign workers, according to a new study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

In a ranking of 35 countries, Switzerland comes third behind Australia and Sweden as an attractive destination for skilled workers with a Masters degree or doctorate according to the OECD Indicators of Talent Attractiveness.

The index looks at how countries compare for attractiveness to three key groups of potential migrants – highly educated workers, entrepreneurs and international students.

The rankings look at quality of opportunities; income and tax; future prospects; family environment; skills environment; inclusiveness; and quality of life. They also take into account how difficult it is for prospective migrants with required skills to obtain a visa or residence permit.

Germany comes 12th in the ranking while Austria comes 17th. Other neighbouring countries France and Italy are placed 22nd and 31st respectively, while Greece, Mexico and Turkey came bottom of the rankings.

Switzerland also came third in the OECD ranking of the best locations for entrepreneurs, behind Canada and New Zealand. The good performance of these countries reflects the relatively low minimum investment and job creation requirements in these countries, according to the researchers.

And as an attractive destination for foreign students, the OECD puts Switzerland top. Second, third and fourth place in this ranking go to Norway, Germany and Finland.


Via SwissInfo/OECD


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