Despite the economic gloom still prevalent in the UK, latest reports show that the UK Management Consulting sector has outpaced the wider economy during the last two years. Many companies are turning to management consultants to assist them in their recovery and growth aspirations.
Levels of optimism amongst management consultants have increased dramatically, with around 63% of all firms feeling positive about the health of the industry and future prospects.
The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Industry Insight Centre said that management consultants have been “supporting key pillars of growth and helping rebalance the economy”
Skills shortages have become evident, particularly in the digital economy. Graduates able to write code and programme are in short supply and this is having an impact on digital consultancies.
Alan Leaman, CEO of the MCA said:
“Growth now looks set to continue. Interviewees report strong order books and pipeline growth. Of course, there are still significant issues. One interviewee observed that it is taking longer for some clients to authorise projects than before 2008, with CFOs and other internal governance actors heavily involved in sign off.”
Demand for consultants in the public sector is also starting to rise. The governments new buying framework, called “ConsultancyOne”, appears to be slow off the mark with few niche, emergent and specialist consultancies reporting that they have secured work through the framework.
Alan Leaman continued:
“The MCA has contributed to the development of the ConsultancyOne buying framework. It is vital that it starts to gain momentum – both to ensure best practice, but also so government gains access to a wider range of skills and expertise from specialist consulting firms.”
The consultancies profession is also seeing skills shortages and is responding in a number of ways including starting to recruit apprentices. Existing employees are also experiencing more opportunities for training and development as firms seek to retain key talent.