U.K. on track to be global talent hot spot

In five years only the U.S. will be ahead of the U.K., according to a study identifying world's best locations for attracting talent.

The U.K. will be one of the world's talent hot spots within the next five years thanks to the quality of its education system and an open labor market.

The results of the Global Talent Index, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit management-analysis service and executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, puts only the U.S. ahead of the U.K.

To identify the best locations for attracting talent, the study measured the demographics, quality of compulsory education, universities and business schools, mobility, labor market conditions and trends in foreign direct investment of 30 countries.

The U.K. will replace the Netherlands as Europe's top country for attracting talent by 2012 but will remain behind the U.S., according to the study.

But both countries face increasing competition from China and India in the top 10 talent hot spots. Asia performs strongly overall with Japan, Malaysia and South Korea all in the top 15.

Brazil and Russia will fare less well. Brazil will fall one place to 19th, while Russia will fall out of the top 10 and be overtaken by Ukraine.

David Peters, regional managing partner, Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA), at Heidrick & Struggles, said in the report: "The openness of our labor market, combined with our excellent schools and universities, proves that the U.K. is one of the best business locations in the world--and is becoming even better."

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.