Access to talent is often the number one consideration for companies looking to expand and grow their business. London benefits from access to a deep pool of talent and skills spread across an expansive range of industries. It also acts as a magnet for global talent due to the strength of its educational institutions, and thriving clusters of innovation and creativity.
A global mosaic
London’s resident population is a global mosaic: broadly made up of one-third born-and-raised Londoner, one-third from the rest of the UK and the remaining third born outside the UK. This kaleidoscope of cultures means that there are over 230 different languages spoken in London (1) .
London’s population is diverse
Population by country of birth (2013) non-UK
Source: Annual Population Survey
Highly skilled workforce
Locating in London offers companies access to a highly skilled, experienced workforce, with six in ten of inner London’s residents holding a degree – significantly higher than the UK average (2) . A recent study from Deloitte(3) showed that London is the leading global centre for talent and high-skills employment, employing almost half (47%) of all high-skill workers across Europe’s leading business cities.
London is a leading global education centre. It has four universities in the world top 40, more than any other city, and seven universities in the top 200, which is the same as the whole of France and more than China, Japan, Sweden and Korea (4).
The capital acts as a hub for young skilled workers with almost one in four of all new graduates in the UK choosing to work in London after graduating (5) . In 2013-14 London’s Universities played host to 382,610 students, with 141,115 graduating in that year (6).
London is also a major draw for international students, with 106,795 students from 220 countries studying in the capital in 2013/14 (7).
World University Rankings 2014-15
London has 4 universities in the top 40
London’s talent pool was the reason social network business Yammer chose London as the location for its engineering centre ahead of New York. Likewise, Facebook has its second largest engineering operation outside of Silicon Valley in London. The deciding factor was that the people they wanted to recruit wanted to work in London.
Yammer chooses London for its European headquarters
Despite the aggressive competition for world city status, despite the very real challenges that the city faces, and because of its resilience, dynamism and energy, London’s leading position can be maintained with action around its weaknesses and attention to growing its strengths.
London has attracted more than twice as many European headquarters than any other European city since 2003 (8). The ease of setting up and doing business here, the presence of some of the world’s leading companies, and flexible labour market, have all helped London achieve this.
London draws in the best domestic and international talent: the 2014 Global Professionals on the Move Report by Hydrogen Group ranked London as the most favoured city for international relocation (9).
“From North America we wanted to expand across Europe, using the UK as the bridgehead. We also wanted to take customers with us: a lot of existing US customers had approached us and asked when we were going to be in the UK. And for a US company, London is typically the starting point in terms of language, culture and business practices.” Twilio