Say what you like about our capital. It may not have the Hollywood sign or the Eiffel Tower. Perhaps it isn’t as beautiful as Budapest or as dynamic as Dubai. But in one key regard, London’s got every other city in the world beat: talent. It seems the city is king of the consummate professional, with Deloitte dubbing the metropolis the ‘talent capital’ of the world.
Attempting to discover which cities around the world employ the most individuals in knowledge-based jobs, the professional services giant studied the number of high-skilled individuals employed in each of the world’s leading cities. London came out in the lead, employing a whopping 1.5 million people in skilled positions compared to just 1.2 million in New York, 784,000 in Los Angeles and just 630,000 in Hong Kong.
The British capital also came out as the leading employer in 12 out of 22 of the talent-driven sectors identified by Deloitte. London industries with talent on tap were as diverse as culture, publishing, digital media, architectural and engineering and legal services. New York dominated a further seven of these sectors, for example beating back the British in areas like higher education, advertising and radio and television broadcasting.
But how can the city make the most of the influx of talent it’s seeing? Among other things, Deloitte recommends that the city’s authorities appoint a chief talent officer to sit on the Greater London Authority, whilst continuing to build close links between business and education and preparing for the increasing pressure this may place on infrastructure and housing needs. It also seems like the passion which the city holds for the financial industry is destined to cool, with Deloitte predicting a decrease in the number of individuals entering the banking sector. Areas likely to see corresponding influxes of talent are the creative, digital and life science arenas.
“This study demonstrates London’s power in the global economy,” said Angus Knowles-Cutler, London senior partner at Deloitte. “It is a desirable and diverse city in which to work, allowing it to attract the very best of British and international talent. Indeed, our city’s highly skilled talent might be one of our greatest invisible exports.”
So next time you hear a Londonite bemoaning the difficulty in accessing the right skills for their business, gently remind them that there is literally no place better for securing the talent they need.