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MCA Membership Survey 2022

Olly Worsfold Director 2 February 2022

Savanta are proud to have partnered with the Management Consultancies Association for its yearly Membership Survey, collecting and analysing MCA member data for the groups 2022 report.

Growth for UK consulting as new and existing clients put trust in sector to assist with post pandemic recovery.

Thousands of British and global clients have turned to the UK’s leading consultancy sector to transform their businesses digitally and pull through from the pandemic

Key findings include:

  • MCA leaders estimate industry will grow 13% in 2022, highlighting the crucial role that firms play in supporting tens of thousands of clients across the UK in difficult and transformational times, according to latest independent survey
  • Six-fold increase in growth in 2021 up from 2.5% in 2020 to 16% in 2021 due to work with new private sector clients, pent up demand and urgent digital transformation required because of the pandemic
  • Solving sustainability challenges for clients and improving environmental impact of businesses expected to grow significantly this year and exports increase significantly
  • No “great resignation” in consulting and over half of consultants (57%) believe work/life balance has improved since March 2020 with more remote working as sector continues to support tens of thousands of young consultants with new jobs

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), said:

“Thousands of British and global clients have turned to the UK’s leading consultancy sector to transform their businesses digitally and pull through from the pandemic, using trusted advisors to accelerate growth plans and provide greater resilience to supply chain operations. Consulting sector growth has been driven by work in the private sector with an uplift in exports overseas and this is forecast to continue at a high rate for the rest of this year.”

Despite this optimism, there are a number of issues facing the sector with 67% citing the requirement for flexible/remote working as the most significant challenge as clients shift their requirements with less work on site. Due to this rapid growth the recruitment of new top talent is also a key test for firms and the retention of existing staff with the right expertise remains a priority for firms of all sizes. However, contrary to the fear of a ‘great resignation’, the majority of respondents (82%) were not seeking a new role either in consulting or a different industry, an increase from 77% last year.

Overall, 71% of consultants felt their current work/life balance is better or unchanged compared to pre-pandemic. Training and development continue to be a high priority for consultants of all levels and many firms have had to invest in digital training during recent months. Half of consultants felt that they received at least as much training as before Covid-19 (59%) but 27% believed that they had not as much training or that the quality had dropped, an improvement on the figure reported last year.

Data from young consultants with 0-5 years’ experience also show that the consulting industry continues to be more accessible to young talent from a diverse range of backgrounds and in the last decade the proportion of young consultants who attended a Russell Group university has fallen from 73% to 36% with firms looking for bright new entrants from more diverse talent pools.

Oliver Worsfold, Director at Savanta, added: 

“Given the ongoing difficult market conditions and uncertainty facing UK PLC, it is positive to see the consulting industry showing both strong growth figures for 2021 and optimism for the year ahead. This shows the sector’s fundamental role in supporting clients through difficult times. Whilst we as a country emerge from the pandemic, clients continue to require consultancy support to navigate its impact and a variety of other challenges including supply chain disruption, demands for them become more sustainable and the need to improve diversity”

Read the full article here.