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The UK falls to 12th spot in global talent ranking

The Adecco Group has launched the 7th edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), together with INSEAD and Google. The global report measures the ability of countries to attract, retain and grow talent.

The 2020 GTCI report reveals the UK has fallen three places to 12th best country in the world for the ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers. This ranking is mainly due to lacklustre performances in its ability to attract and retain talent. Within these categories, the UK’s weakest area is its relatively low degree of internal openness (31st). This would primarily improve through greater tolerance of minorities, a category for which the UK fell from 54th rank last year to 78th this year. The report findings also suggest that attention should be paid to vocational and technical skills (24th), as more could be done to improve secondary education by making it more relevant for the labour market.

On a more positive note, this year’s report puts the UK among the top countries in growing talent (5th), and in having a strong pool of global knowledge skills (3rd).

The report also reveals that some cities rather than countries are strengthening their role as talent hubs, with London’s efforts to attract and retain top talent paying off. The capital jumped into the 2nd spot from 14th the prior year. This demonstrates its ability to be flexible to new trends and patterns, and provide capacity for future readiness in fields such as artificial intelligence (AI) or advanced technologies, including fintech and medtech.

London also received a strong performance in the attract and global knowledge skills pillars. These assess the degree of internationalisation of cities (infrastructure and connectivity, population with tertiary education and number of patent applications) – all of which contribute to making the capital such a hub for talent. Three other British cities also feature in the ranking – Edinburgh (45th), Birmingham (76th) and Cardiff (77th).

Alex Fleming, president and country head of the Adecco Group UK&I, said “These research findings reveal the scale of the talent challenge facing organisations in the UK. Despite London’s enduring appeal and success in acting as a test bed for new AI based tools such as facial recognition, tele surveillance and autonomous vehicles, the UK as a whole has become less attractive to workers. This fall in performance is no doubt partly due to the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.  To retain its competitive edge as Brexit looms, Britain needs to focus on talent attraction and retention and work towards improving its tolerance of minorities. This can be done by encouraging entrepreneurship, as well as breaking down stereotypes and encouraging a more diverse selection of candidates to apply for the jobs on offer.”

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