Article

Globaltown: Winning London's crucial battle for talent

London Futures

November 2013

As part of the UK Futures programme, Deloitte has undertaken original research into the current and future competitiveness of London as a global hub. Some of the findings are encouraging, but some difficult challenges also emerge. Deloitte presents five recommendations to enhance London's global standing as a magnet for the broadest range of high-skill, knowledge-based businesses.

Key findings

  • Deloitte has reviewed 22 high-skill, knowledge-based sectors and finds that London is the world's leading city in 12 of them, employing 1.5 million people; this places the city ahead of its nearest rival, New York, which has 1.2 million working in these sectors.
  • London is unique in the breadth and depth of these high value sectors and our research finds that London's economy is diversifying, with growth in creative, digital and media businesses more than compensating for the decline in financial services employment.
  • Deloitte predicts a minimum net growth in London employment of 300,000 by 2020, of which at least 100,000 will be in high-skill sectors.
  • Deloitte makes five recommendations to protect and enhance London's leading position, including the appointment of a Chief Talent Officer for the city.

Executive summary

The research identifies 22 high-skill, knowledge-based business sectors, in which London is the global leader in 12, currently employing 1.5 million people. "The sheer breadth, depth and level of expertise of London's leadership is unrivalled across the world." Angus Knowles-Cutler, London senior partner

The situation is dynamic and in many ways positive for London. We predict a minimum net growth of 300,000 in London jobs by 2020, of which at least 100,000 will be in high-skill sectors. We identify quite different growth patterns by business sector, with some continuing decline in banking employment but with strong growth in London's creative, digital and life science sectors. However, what all these sectors have in common is the need for the best talent available - highly skilled and motivated people from both the United Kingdom and around the world.

"I welcome this excellent research by Deloitte, which shows us what we are getting right and what specific areas need greater attention. I am also pleased that the report shows that London is well-placed to remain a city with global influence in the 21st century and beyond." Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise

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