This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 26, 2005

China's Labor Shortage

One of China's assets is the country's huge population, although most workers are insufficiently prepared to perform jobs necessary to shift from manufacturing into services and research-based industries. Education is emphasized; large numbers of new graduates are being produced. China will graduate 3.1 million university graduates this year compared with 1.3 million in the United States. The question is graduate quality and capacity to perform the needed work.

"Few of China's vast numbers of graduates are capable of working successfully in the services-export sector," says Andrew Grant, director in McKinsey's Shanghai office and author of a report recently released by the consulting firm. "Few of China's vast numbers of graduates are capable of working successfully in the services-export sector. The universities have a theoretical, text-book, fact-based, learn-from-the-master approach," he said. There is also insufficient emphasis on conversational skills in the teaching of English.

The report asserts that a shortage of well-trained graduates could hinder growth of the Chinese economy and prevent development of more sophisticated industries. Lack of practical skills and poor English-speaking proficiency suggests difficulty developing industries such as information technology outsourcing that has brought jobs to India over the past decade. India and China compete to attract jobs from developed countries.

McKinsey's research is based on interviews with 83 human resources executives who concluded that fewer than 10 percent of graduates in China have the skills to work for a foreign company, compared with 25 percent of graduates in India. The type of education many Chinese students receive does not give them the practical and team-work skills that global companies need.

According to McKinsey, China produces about 600,000 new engineers every year, nine times as many as the US. However, of the pool of 1.6 million young engineers in the country, only about 160,000 have practical and language skills to work for a multinational. Multinational corporations also face fierce competition from local companies for employees, given the strong expansion of the Chinese economy. The study said China would need 75,000 managers with some form of global experience in a decade. It currently has only about 5,000 such people.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Our author Joyce gets quoted in TIME Magazine and other national media on a regular basis. You can, too! Sign up for You will be found by the news media and in Google search: 1. Through your personal search-engine-optimized press room by 39 topics you choose; 2. By news releases pushed out 10 ways including Google News; 3. Be found in the 2020 printed Yearbook of Experts, Authorities & Spokespersons. Save 15% when you register by October 31st @

The Association of Professional Futurists proudly presents its annual online learning experiences on Full Spectrum Futures. Network with leading futurists from all over the world. And best of all, it's free to attend, though contributions are encouraged to help defray costs. For more information, visit here.

Excellent translation services from English, French, or German into Spanish. Especially well-versed in medicine/pharma and automobile industries. 5-year Bachelor Degree in Translation. Also editing and proofreading of all kinds of Spanish language documents. Flexible rates, depending on number of words, degree of difficulty/technicality, and turnaround. For an instant quote email Mariana Campora Lesti at or contact her on SKYPE at marianacampora.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.