The Lisbon European Council in 2002 set a goal for the European Union to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. EU should be capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion by 2010. To achieve this EU wants to increase investments in Research & Development to 3% of GDP. But to reach this target, EU will need an extra 700 000 researchers. A knowledge-based economy depends on ability and know-how, instead of fuels and raw materials and therefore highly educated and skilled people are in demand.
The best source of knowledge workers are the PhD graduates. They are the highly skilled and educated group in society. But many times they are not aware how the market needs them and prefer to stay at the university to continue their work there as academicians. They also fail to reach the satisfaction in jobs due to the lack of opportunities to develop their skills further. This is a pity, because the PhD graduates have the skills and attributes the labour market needs: problem solving skills and determination to find new and better ways to tackle difficulties.
If you are interested in reading more about this subject, click here. You can find information from the UK GRAD Programme which is trying to support the academic sector to embed personal and professional skills development into research degree programmes.