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Is London stuck in the slow lane?

‘The Big Smoke’: an image of expanding enterprise and an industrious workforce immediately comes to mind. But is our mighty city in threat of being usurped by ‘The Big Apple’ or ‘The Fine City’ (Singapore)?

As an economic centre, London is hardly failing; between 2007 and 2011 the city economy grew by 12.4pc in spite of the financial downturn. Trade is made easy by the city’s universal English language and GMT time system. And let’s not forget London’s rich culture and vibrant lifestyle that brings in on average 15 million tourists each year.

However, experts worry that the attraction of London’s multiple entertainment venues, green spaces and the glittering gates of Buckingham Palace are simply too weak in comparison to the strong infrastructure, logistics and technology of other European giants. How long can London rely on tradition and being ‘a nice place to live’?

In economic terms, London faces fierce competition from German cities such as Berlin and Munich that benefit from European, and increasingly Chinese, investment. Suddenly, London’s income from American investors may not be enough to maintain its economic crown.

Hays, the leading recruitment expert, has put forward a three-point plan to boost and target the skills of the workforce following disappointing news of a disparity between skills required by businesses and those possessed by employees.

Languages are a particular cause for concern; 68% of the British public do not speak a second language compared to over 250 million Chinese who are currently studying English. Although our native tongue may lack universal usage, the ability to speak a foreign language of any kind is increasingly essential to global business prowess.

A shortage of STEM-skilled workers in the UK is also a factor behind London’s proposed relegation. Not only is the country failing to foster home-grown talent but strict regulations behind employer-sponsored work visas are proving to be a significant obstacle to recruiting the top STEM professionals.

SilverDoor is always aware of changes in international destinations. Demand for accommodation in international cities such as Sao Paulo, San Francisco and Abu Dhabi is currently on the rise yet we recognise that the bulk of our business remains within The City of London. With such global clientele, we have made the conscious decision to employ staff who collectively speak over 15 languages. Let’s not discount ‘The Big Smoke’ just yet – get in touch with SilverDoor today to find the perfect London serviced apartments for your next series of city business trips.

Image: Dunc(an) (Creative Commons License)

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About the Author

Josh Ballard

As PR Marketing Manager at SilverDoor, Josh is always on top of what's happening in the business travel industry with a particular focus on the serviced apartment sector. As well as the SilverDoor blog, he's also written articles for a number of industry publications.