UK ranks 9th place in global talent competitiveness ranking

  • The UK has been ranked as the ninth best country in the world for the ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers, according to the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index
  • The index reveals that the UK’s ability to leverage innovation and entrepreneurialism for talent competitiveness is boosted by its strong pool of Global Knowledge Skills; which deals with high-level skills and the impact made by talent, a variable for which it is ranked fifth
  • London is ranked the 14th most competitive city, with Cardiff and Birmingham featuring in the 53rd and 68th places respectively 

21 January 2019

The UK has been ranked ninth in the world for talent competitiveness, according to the new Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) – a global report measuring countries’ ability to attract, retain and grow talent.

The UK’s position in the top ten most talent competitive countries is bolstered by its leading pool of Global Knowledge Skills, as indicated by its culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and the development of high-value industries. The UK also performs consistently well in the Enable, Attract and Grow-talent pillars, ranking ninth in each of these categories. This performance can largely be accredited to its strong business environment, world-class educational institutions and ability to appeal to foreign talent and investment. But the UK’s position is undermined by its Vocational and Technical Skills; which deals with mid-level skills and employability, for which it’s ranked 27th.

Produced by one of the world’s leading HR solutions partners, the Adecco Group, together with international business school INSEAD and Tata Communications, the GTCI looks at 68 discrete variables. Ranging from organisational collaboration and foreign direct investment to innovation output and labour productivity, these variables help determine a country’s ‘talent competitiveness’ – the ability to attract, develop and retain skilled workers, thereby supporting productivity and prosperity.

The sixth annual GTCI evaluated 125 countries to provide decision-makers across business and government with the tools to drive talent competitiveness. It suggests that in today’s knowledge economy, nurturing entrepreneurship is not only key to economic growth but also attracting and retaining talent.

GTCI 2019: TOP 10 COUNTRIES (2018 ranking in brackets)

1. Switzerland (1)
2. Singapore (2)
3. United States (3)
4. Norway (4)
5. Denmark (7)
6. Finland (6)
7. Sweden (5)
8. Netherlands (9)
9. United Kingdom (8)
10. Luxembourg (10)

The 2018 – 2019 report also sheds light on the ways in which countries, cities and businesses can leverage entrepreneurial talent in a time of rapid digital transformation. It argues that entrepreneurship is a skill that can and should be developed across whole economic and social systems to reach its full potential contribution to employment, growth and competitiveness.

Now in its third year, the Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI): a ranking of 114 cities according to their talent competitiveness, features London (14) in the top 20. Cardiff and Birmingham came in at 53rd and 68th respectively.

Commenting on the UK’s ranking, Alex Fleming, President and Country Head, the Adecco Group UK&I, said:

“It’s great that the UK continues to be a world-leader for talent competitiveness. To remain ahead as the global economy evolves, entrepreneurial talent is no longer just essential for start-ups but a necessary state of mind for everyone. Our strong record for global openness, is key for entrepreneurial talent to thrive, so this is especially encouraging.

“Not only can entrepreneurial talent help the UK navigate the uncertain future of work, but also the challenges and opportunities that will emerge after Brexit. Now more than ever, the government needs to stimulate innovation by creating policies and incentives that will enable and encourage new solutions. Companies and individuals have their part to play too by encouraging continuous training and lifelong learning. Essentially, it will not be the fastest but rather the most adaptable individuals, companies, cities and ultimately countries that will thrive in our future economy.”


Read the report here.

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