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Acer founder urges enterprises to offer stage for local talent growth

The China Post news staff--Acer Group founder Stan Shih yesterday called for local enterprises to actively provide the “stage” for the growth of professional talent, stressing that the best way to benefit themselves is to benefit others.

Shih issued the call at the Humanity Innovation Summit Forum jointly organized by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News and National Chengchi University.

He said it's not reasonable to have colleges and universities held fully liable for the talent shortage. “Taiwan's education system is absolutely capable of cultivating fundamental talent, and what matters is whether society can offer the stage for the growth of such basic talent. And local enterprises should play a major role in this regard,” he said.

It takes combined efforts from academia and industry to cultivate the new crop of skilled workers needed by local enterprises, according to Shih.

“If the academic sector cultivates too many talents, but the industrial and business sectors fail to offer sufficient outlets for such talents, then the entire talent cultivation task would be undermined,” he said.

In a frank manner, Shih said that Taiwanese society is getting “semi-blinded,” as political figures are eyeing only short-term benefits such as votes, and that the public care about only visible and concrete benefits without thinking of what indirect and future values can be created.

Accordingly, both academia and business should cultivate talent with an international vision so that they can serve all Chinese markets, according to Shih.

The Acer Group founder stressed that if the talents cultivated in Taiwan can be used domestically, then the value they generate would be quite limited. “But if the talents can extend their intellectual services around the world, then the outlet for such services would be 100 times the domestic one.”

On the same occasion, Hsu Chog-jen, former president of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain under the Uni-President Group, said that quite a few local enterprises have achieved innovation by introducing advanced business operation models from foreign countries and then gradually adjusting the models to local conditions.

For instance, Hsu said, Taiwan High Speed Rail has launched a world-first service that allows consumers to buy tickets directly at convenience stores. The idea was developed from a sales idea originated in Japan.

Hsu stressed that if local enterprises only keep repeating foreign success stories without developing their own innovations then they will be forced to give up halfway. This can explain many enterprises' failures to become world-class companies, he said.

Meanwhile, Wu Si-hua, president of National Chengchi University, said that Taiwanese people feel upset mainly because they feel little hope. Many firms listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange have scored robust profits in recent years, but local salaried people do not feel they have benefited to the same extent. Accordingly, Wu said, the most pressing issue facing local industries is how to foster career development opportunities for young people through business innovations.

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