Capital can’t be complacent about attracting new talent
The perils of business journalism are many but one that is often under-remarked upon is the danger of drowning in data releases. Inboxes our end are full of new analyses, some of relatively questionable value, and it is sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees.
Not so yesterday when the latest iteration of the IMD World Talent Ranking turned up. Developed by the World Competitiveness Centre, this ranking pools the thinking of around 5,000 global execs on everything from salaries to the quality of life and to a certain extent gets at one simple question – where in the world might one find the most talented workforce. It measures three prongs – the investment and development of a homegrown workforce, the appeal that a city or a country has to foreign and local talent, both in attracting it in the first place and retaining it, and the readiness factor – that is, how skilled an existing workforce is and its ability to create jobs for newcomers.
The UK, rather concerningly, is on the slide. Scandis and the Swiss, by all accounts, knock us into a cocked hat – the UK sits at 28th of 63 countries surveyed. That seems, to us, rather low – but it is nonetheless cause for concern.
oo many bright people are considering careers outside of the capital – and we are competing with not just Paris or (God forbid) Frankfurt, but New York, Singapore, Zurich and a host of other upwardly mobile cities. On our laurels we cannot rest. One of the reasons that the UK has slipped is our brief flirtation with banana republic politics; two others, far more worrying, are our reputation as a home to foreign talent post-Brexit and our insane housing market. Central government has made little progress on either, and more is also required from our local leaders, too.
With growth in the doldrums and more competition emerging, this is no time for complacency about our ability to retain and attract the world’s very smartest young talent.