The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has launched a new campaign to highlight the value of consulting to the economy and society, ahead of its major annual industry event the MCA Awards. Currently the UK consulting industry is worth almost £20bn to the UK economy and employs over 100,000 people in over 350 offices across the UK with 274 outside London in cities including Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Continued growth in the sector in recent years has meant that consulting firms across the UK are advising companies across the globe and developing the career of thousands of people including a record number of apprentices, graduates and school leavers. Over 2,800 graduates were hired in 2022, a 35% increase on 2021, alongside just under 800 apprentices, trainees and school leavers, an 11% increase on the previous year1.
As well as outlining the impact on the economy, local employment and social mobility, the campaign also highlights how consultants are working with clients to achieve Net Zero as well as helping with advice on sustainability and digital transformation at a time of immense change for those in the private sector. A concerted effort has also been made by the consulting sector to encourage more social mobility into the industry with a number of initiatives in place. This has led to a steep decline in graduates with an Oxbridge or Russell Group background falling from 73% in 2011 to 35% in 20222. Nearly 30% of consultant’s report social mobility characteristics as the opportunity to become a consultant opens up to a wider talent pool. The Chartered Management Consultant Accreditation is also now available to help set a recognised career path similar to other professions.
Similar efforts to achieve digital transformation and greater productivity also continue apace in the public sector, where consultancy acts as a trusted partner to government, exemplified by MCA members’ work with Cabinet Office to develop the Consultancy Playbook which ensures highly regulated competitive tenders, value for money and utmost standards in the work conducted by consultancy firms for public sector clients. The MCA Awards case studies this year outline the impact of the sector’s work across the public and private sector in the UK and overseas, with the backing of over 100 client organisations.
Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association, said:
“The UK is one of the leading professional services centres in the world, providing specialist expert advice to tens of thousands of clients across the UK and the globe and supporting thousands of jobs across every nation and region of our country.
“Our sector not only has a powerful economic impact, but a societal impact too, both via the projects that firms deliver and through the development of our people. The consultancy industry has a strong track record of contributing to social mobility via being a leading employer of apprentices, school leavers, and graduates, and over 30% of consultant’s report social mobility characteristics – all of which highlight the value of consulting to the UK economy and society.”
The MCA will be meeting key political stakeholders from all major political parties in the coming months to discuss the value of consulting, including hosting educational events and roundtables involving MCA members. For further information, including key facts on the sector, please visit www.mca.org.uk.