Edinburgh has been ranked 45th in the world in a listing of the most talent competitive cities.

The Seventh Edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index shows London rising from 14 to second place while the UK has dropped from ninth to 12 best country in the world for the ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers.

The index, produced by The Adecco Group together with business school INSEAD and Google, says the UK’s ability to attract and retain talent is affected by its lack of political stability and poor tolerance of minorities.

The report suggests that the UK’s weakest area is its relatively low degree of internal openness. This would primarily improve through greater tolerance of minorities, a category in which the UK fell from 54 to 78 this year.

The report findings also suggest that attention should be paid to vocational and technical skills, as more could be done to improve secondary education by making it more relevant for the labour market.

The report also suggests 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 UK capital’s jump to 12 place from the previous year demonstrates its ability to be flexible to new trends and patterns, and provide capacity for future readiness in fields such as artificial intelligence or advanced technologies, including fintech and medtech.

London also received a strong performance in the attract and global knowledge skills areas.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.

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Edinburgh is the second top UK city in the rankings at 45 with the other two being Birmingham at 76 and Cardiff at 77th.

Alex Fleming, president and country head of the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, 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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