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Talent and reinvesting for growth

By Tim Hanley - May 24, 2012

With the 2012 Olympics just around the corner, I cannot imagine a better venue to host a discussion on competitiveness than in London. The city provided an ideal backdrop for a recent Deloitte industry event which underscored the talent issues faced by many global manufacturers and the importance for companies to continuously reinvest for growth to remain competitive.

The Deloitte Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit event featured a distinguished panel of senior executives from three prominent manufacturers, ArcelorMittal, Siemens, and Jaguar Land Rover, as well as a senior representative from the European Commission.

The panel shared views on how they were working to ensure their companies remain globally competitive. It was fascinating to hear one of the executives say that 100,000 apprentices will be needed in the United Kingdom (UK) manufacturing industry alone in order to replace the retiring baby boomer generation in that company. Another executive reinforced the talent issue by outlining the skill shortage in fields like engineering and production supervision saying it was particularly challenging in their business to find these experienced hires.

Another one of our panelists highlighted the increasing difficulties in gaining access to capital to grow their business, suggesting it was not just an issue for small to medium manufacturers, but also larger companies. The panel also agreed that despite the slowdown in economic growth, the demand shift will continue towards the East in places like China and India and other emerging markets.

I had the pleasure to join this panel and speak about global competitiveness in manufacturing and highlight the findings of a newly released report where Deloitte served as the Project Advisor to the World Economic Forum report entitled the Future of Manufacturing. The report has garnered global media coverage including Industry Week in the United States (Report: Manufacturers Can't Innovate Without Talent) and Economic Times in India (Ten million manufacturing jobs vacant due to skill shortage: Study). This summer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited looks forward to the highly anticipated release of the 2012 Global Manufacturing Competiveness Index report (see the first study, 2010 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index).

Thanks to Deloitte UK, we were very fortunate to host the client event at the Deloitte House, a special hospitality facility which take centerstage for Deloitte client events during the upcoming summer Olympic Games. It was a somewhat typically cold and rainy London night so we were only able to gain a glimpse of the Olympic Park grounds, but even through the fog and the mist, it certainly looked impressive.

Tim HanleyTim Hanley is the Global Leader of the Manufacturing Industry group of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). In his global industry leadership role, he directs strategic initiatives and investments to grow Deloitte member firm market share within the manufacturing industry. During his distinguished 32-year career, Hanley has led teams serving all business aspects, including consulting with top management regarding organizational financial strategy development and execution, acquisitions, and market development.


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