Closing the Global Opportunity Gap

SEATTLE – We stand in the midst of a global economic tragedy. Around the world, new job opportunities are being created that offer the promise of prosperity. Yet hundreds of millions of people find themselves locked out of these opportunities because they lack the necessary education and skills.

Unless current trends are reversed, this opportunity gap will deepen, creating even greater income disparities and stifling economic recovery worldwide. To avoid this outcome, it is critical that business and governments around the world agree now on a strategy for improving educational opportunities, training, and global mobility for the next generation of workers.

It is estimated that 600 million jobs worldwide will need to be created over the next decade to make up for jobs lost in the recent economic crisis. Many of these new jobs will come from sectors in which advances in science, engineering, and technology continue to drive innovation and growth.

Between 2009 and 2013, the IT industry will help to create more than 75,000 new businesses and 5.8 million new jobs worldwide. But, as job growth accelerates in industries requiring high-skilled workers, we are creating a global market for talent that remains largely vacant.