Business leaders in the UK have been advised to keep their nerve despite the ongoing economic problems being seen across the globe.

A new report produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that firms that seize opportunities to recruit, train and reward staff – despite the more difficult circumstances – are likely to benefit from a competitive edge.

Entitled Futures, the study is the first in a series of reports which are designed to reflect the challenges currently affecting businesses.

"The leaders who will really excel through uncertain times are those with the courage to ride out to meet the storm – and the integrity to convince others to come with them," stated Jackie Orme, chief executive of the CIPD.

Initially established as the Welfare Workers’ Association in 1913, the CIPD now claims to have a membership of more than 125,000 and is the professional body for those involved in the management and development of people.