Where did your city rank in 2017 Talent Competitiveness Index?

Quality of life, R&D investment, education and infrastructure combined to see Cardiff claim the UK's highest place in a new global index examining the talent competitiveness of major world cities.

Severn Bridge in the morning
  • As well as topping London, Cardiff beat New York and Berlin on the ability to develop, attract and retain highly-skilled workers, taking eleventh place in international business school INSEAD’s new global ranking.
The first Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI), produced by INSEAD, with HR services firm Adecco and the Human Capital Leadership Institute, also ranks the UK as third best country in the world for its ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers.Tying into key demographic trends that see work-life balance and quality of life considerations take higher priority among mobile and highly skilled workers, the GCTCI reflects these trends and issues to give a deeper insight into what cities can offer on these factors.

Technology, talent and investment in Wales

The GCTCI established the ability of 46 cities of different sizes, located in 34 countries, and representing a mix of national capitals, regional centres and ‘second cities’ to attract, retain and develop workers.Researchers evaluated each city based on 19 variables, including investment in R&D, quality of life, education levels and the presence of major universities, physician density, average monthly expenses and airport connectivity.

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Cardiff’s ranking just outside the top 10 outperforms London (16), as well as global hubs such as Berlin (12) and New York (14). Cardiff’s performance in the rankings is boosted by a high quality of life. It also benefits from being small in size and population, a factor which the report reveals can aid a city in attracting top talent, and has a good level of availability when it comes to vocational education.Ahead of Cardiff are Zurich, San Francisco, Madrid, Paris, Los Angeles, Dublin and Eindhoven, as well as a number of Nordic cities, further reinforcing the Scandinavian region’s reputation for connectivity, international links and high quality of life.

Smaller cities take lead in GCTCI

With the exception of Paris, Madrid, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the cities in the top 10 have an average population of under 400,000. This, the authors suggest, means small, easy-to-navigate cities with a high quality of life such as Cardiff are attracting globally mobile workers away from metropolises.Commenting on the figures, Chris Sutton, JLL director and chair of Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone, said: “Cardiff punches above its weight in this global survey, being ranked higher than a number of large cities and providing a strong endorsement of the talent competitiveness.“This independent survey gives weight to the argument that smaller cities like Cardiff, which is home to three universities, can provide a better quality of life for higher-level talent where there is strong physical and technical connectivity.“The success of Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone is founded upon these strong business fundamentals, with talented human capital being integral to this.”

Vocational training and livability make Cardiff a talent contender

John L Marshall, CEO of Adecco Group UK & Ireland, added: “The inaugural Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index recognises the growing influence of cities. Capital cities, regional hubs and so-called second cities are increasingly competing for the world’s best, brightest and most creative talent. People are more and more wanting to move to Cardiff or San Francisco rather than the UK or US more broadly.“Cardiff coming in eleventh demonstrates its strength in providing vocational education. In addition, it’s the small and easy-to-navigate cities that help attract top talent, and we could also see other cities across Wales attracting more businesses, helping them to become talent hubs.“Cardiff also offers workers the chance to combine a small, liveable, friendly community with a high quality of life with excellent opportunities for career advancement.”

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