Hays Luncheon – 16th November

Bob Lewis, Head of British Council France:
“Another excellent thought provoking speech by Alistair Cox to prepare us for the destabilisation that AI and robotics will bring to the job market”



On the 16th November 2017, The Franco-British Chamber held its annual luncheon with long-time partner, recruitment company HAYS.

The luncheon was situated at the beautiful Hôtel de Crillon which has recently been reopened after a lavish make-over. Chamber President Olivier Campenon had the pleasure of welcoming selected President’s Forum and Cercle Economique members, along with HAYS’ clients, to enjoy the fantastic food and excellent service of the Crillon’s staff.

Between courses, Chief Executive of HAYS, Alistair Cox, delivered an exceptional and dynamic speech, presenting HAYS’ new report: the ‘Index Mondial des Compétences 2017’. Alistair also introduced The Hays Global Skills Index, a report carried out in 33 of the world’s labour markets. Alistair then underlined the main contemporary issues impacting labour markets all over the world and stressed how these issues are being pushed up government agendas. Alistair stated that despite Britain’s period of uncertainty in the wake of Brexit, it is “crucial” that Britain’s borders are left open to the global talent pool so that businesses across the world can acquire skilled professionals.

He went on to explain that one of the other issues we face is that “the way we access skills is changing and there is no longer a traditional way of building a career”, and that “the world of work and how you access your talent is undergoing some large changes globally, as well as closer to home”. This therefore calls for a process of adaptation. On this positive note, Alistair emphasised that despite the digital age bringing new technologies that will change perspectives in all sectors of activity, this will simply alter the way in which we work. One must not be afraid of robots taking your position. He explained that in fact two thirds of jobs in the next 20 years are yet to be created, providing more roles for us in the future, and allowing different skills to come into play.

Guests then had the opportunity to ask questions following his speech to which Alistair delivered insightful responses. The lunch came to an end as guests enjoyed their desserts while watching the sun set over the magnificent Place de la Concorde.