Midlands losing out to London when it comes to talent, and HS2 won’t help

January 11, 2015

Birmingham, UK, 11th February 2015 — More than half of business leaders in the Midlands believe the region is not doing enough to attract, retain and develop the right people, and almost half think that the planned High Speed 2 rail link will not provide the necessary return on investment

In a survey of 122 directors and non-executive directors attending Harvey Nash’s Lord Digby Jones Lecture at the Belfry Hotel, West Midlands on February 5th 2015, 53% indicated the region needed to do more to attract talent. This proportion is the same as a similar survey Harvey Nash conducted in 2012, suggesting that despite an increasing need for the right people, little has been done to address the problem. One potential solution – HS2 – was discounted by 46% of respondents who believed the investment was not worthwhile. Business leaders were significantly more positive about the wider economic outlook, with 57% reporting their company in a better financial position than a year ago, and 74% expecting improved economic conditions over the next six months.

The Survey also had a strong message for political parties: the business community is highly in favour of the UK staying in the European Union with 95% indicating it good for business. Their commitment is not without caveats; 47% say continued EU membership needs to be accompanied by ‘significant reforms’. Business leaders are more positive than at any time since the 2010 election about the performance of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition with 81% reporting they had done a ‘good job’, compared to 59% in 2012. Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash, commented: “According to this Survey, the Conservative party enters an election year with strong levels of support from the business community. 2015 will be a key year for the UK, and maintaining business confidence levels should be the objective of whatever party forms the next government. But the message from business is clear – our future lies in a strong, reformed, Europe.”

Lord Jones was interviewed immediately prior to the event. Watch him on our YouTube Channel.


About the Survey

  • The survey was conducted between January 21st and February 3rd 2015
  • The audience was primarily business leaders based in the West Midlands area, 74% were at director level or above
  • For the full breakdown of results please contact michelle.smith@harveynash.com

Media Relations contacts 
Michelle Smith 
Group Marketing and Digital, 
Harvey Nash plc 
+44 (0)20 7333 0033 

About Harvey Nash 
Established in 1988, Harvey Nash has supported many of the world’s leading organisations to recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive and technology driven world.

With 7,000 professionals in 43 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia, the Group has the reach and resources of a global organisation, whilst fostering a culture of innovation and agility that empowers its people to respond to constantly changing client needs. We work with clients, both large and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: executive search, professional recruitment and offshore services.

To learn more, please visit www.harveynash.com

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