Cardiff leads British cities as UK ranks third for talent

Cardiff was ranked 11th for talent competitiveness, ahead of London and Birmingham
Billy Stock / Robert Harding / REX / Shutterstock

The UK has been ranked third in the world for “talent competitiveness”, according to research that measures countries’ ability to attract, retain and grow talent, and Cardiff has been ranked as the 11th best city.

The GTCI Top 10 (2017)

1. Switzerland (1)
2. Singapore (2)
3. United Kingdom (7)
4. United States (4)
5. Sweden (6)
6. Australia (13)
7. Luxembourg (3)
8. Denmark (5)
9. Finland (10)
10. Norway (8)

The numbers in brackets are 2016 GTCI rankings. Each country links to an XpertHR international guide.

Only Switzerland and Singapore are listed higher than the UK in the 2017 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), a ranking produced by French business school INSEAD, the Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute.

The UK has climbed from seventh in 2016 and was commended for its flexible labour market and external openness. It scored less well in areas such as women’s equality, internal openness, and vocational and technical skills.

The GTCI looks at 65 variables, ranging from corruption and foreign direct investment to the gender pay gap, labour productivity and university rankings.

These parameters help determine a country’s “talent competitiveness” – the ability to develop, attract and retain skilled workers, thereby supporting productivity and prosperity.

The in-depth report also highlights the advanced and disruptive impact of technology on labour markets. According to the report, countries that are equipped to harness this disruptive power will be best placed in coming years and decades.

The GTCI research also explores how technology can serve to augment human efficiency, highlighting the need for “softer” talents, such as creativity, adaptability and the ability to share ideas and work in teams.

Top 20 cities for talent

1. Copenhagen
2. Zurich
3. Helsinki
4. San Francisco
5. Gothenburg
6. Madrid
7. Paris
8. Los Angeles
9. Eindhoven
10. Dublin
11. Cardiff
12. Sydney
13. Berlin
14. New York
15. Vienna
16. London
17. Birmingham
18. Bilbao
19. Singapore
20. Barcelona

The UK performs well across variables that determine a country’s talent readiness for technology – educational systems, employment and protection policies, stakeholder connectivity and technology competences – illustrating its preparedness to adapt to and benefit from technological changes.

This year’s research also ranked cities according to their talent competitiveness. Three British cities feature in the top 20 – London (16), Birmingham (17) and Cardiff (11) – the Welsh capital demonstrating the ability of smaller cities to attract talent over larger metropolises.

John Marshall, chief executive of Adecco in the UK and Ireland, said: “This year’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index cements the UK’s position as a world leader in fostering and nurturing talent.

“Our flexible labour markets and external openness are just some of the factors that help the UK outperform many of its peers, but we continue to lag behind in areas such as vocational training and women’s equality. This is bad for business and it’s bad for Britain.”

The impact of last year’s Brexit vote was not captured in the UK’s talent index score.

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