London mayor Sadiq Khan and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves recently unveiled the London Growth Plan to create 150,000 high-quality, high-paid jobs by 2028, highlights Derek Mackenzie.

With a focus on growing sectors including AI and cyber, it is an impressive and ambitious plan to bolster the job market in the capital, but with that comes a series of considerations and implications. So, how does it impact job seekers and businesses?

What does it mean for job seekers? 

The increased investment in businesses within the City, central business district, and outer London will give companies more financial power to hire staff that can boost innovation initiatives and growth projects, accelerating the job market for job seekers and creating more opportunities.

The key for job seekers is to focus on the areas of growing importance for the mayor and for businesses. Our recent Tech and the Boardroom survey highlighted that 38 per cent of UK C-level executives labelled hiring cybersecurity staff as their biggest talent pain point amid a rise in AI-related cyber concerns.

Cyber threats are showing no sign of slowing down, nor are innovations in rapidly developing areas such as artificial intelligence, so these areas will be a priority for businesses for many years to come.

Job seekers can therefore give themselves the best chance of success by prioritising specialist training in high-demand, high-growth areas, increasing their value to potential employers.

Beyond standalone skills training, those looking for jobs should also look at wider community initiatives and network groups to enhance their credentials. Networks such as SheIO, a community for recruiting and developing female CIOs, help share insights, experience and guidance for people looking to break into specific roles, and people looking to re-skill or upskill. Connecting with others who can support the development of skills and a specialised career path can be a huge boost during the job-seeking process. 

What does it mean for businesses? 

As businesses invest and scale, they need specialist staff to lead innovative projects that can result in enhanced efficiency and, ultimately, revenue growth.

That opens up the opportunity to hire more staff across all levels to broaden an organisation’s diversity of thought and skillsets. The priority for businesses then becomes locating staff with the relevant skillsets and experience for specific roles and departments.

CEOs and hiring managers have been thinking more strategically about their next hires due to the turbulent economic outlook, putting largescale transformation projects on hold in most instances due to boards keeping a close eye on cost and cashflow in an uncertain market. However, when green shoots come for the economy and the job market, businesses will be raring to get these transformation projects underway, led by the ‘highly skilled’ staff therefore set out by the London Growth Plan.

As part of this, businesses need to define clear objectives within their hiring process and target roles. Do they want to hire at C-suite, executive, manager or entry-level? Do they require a certain specialist skillset for a project or role? How influential is DEI within the hiring process? The clearer organisations can be with their objectives, the more likely they are to find the right candidate for the job.

There is also an onus on businesses to create a supportive environment for staff and job seekers, setting themselves apart from competitors to attract and retain talent platformed by the London Growth Plan. For example, businesses should offer training programmes, flexible working policies, career mentioning and clear progression opportunities. Initiatives such as these can create an inclusive high-performance culture that unlocks the power of people.

‘Don’t just pay me, give me purpose’

The London Growth Plan emphasises high-paid jobs, and while pay is naturally a factor behind staff pursuing particular roles, the most important duty that a business has is to give their staff purpose.

Staff that feel empowered and valued are more productive and are more likely to deliver results that help drive the business forward. Employee wellbeing s therefore crucial for business success. A report from Deloitte revealed that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45 billion annually, highlighting the significant return on investment that comes with comprehensive workplace solutions.

Wellbeing is just one aspect in a myriad of employer responsibilities, and prioritising it, instead of just prioritising pay, helps cultivate a more supportive culture and a more motivated workforce, which can reduce absenteeism, boost morale, and enhance overall productivity.

Training is another area that employees value highly, seeking company cultures that promote continuous skills development. This can start at the application stage with integrated training within the recruitment process, to on-the-job training, mentorship and skills development, to internal and external programmes that develop specific expertise.

Beyond competitive salaries, job seekers are increasingly pursuing positions that offer meaningful benefits. Ignoring this demand could pose a significant obstacle for companies aiming to attract and retain top talent, fostered by the London Growth Plan.


Derek Mackenzie is CEO of Investigo, part of The IN Group.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.