A consultancy based in Newcastle has enjoyed annual growth of 30% following strong demand for assistance with recruitment in the region. With UK employment still riding high, meaning firms face a competitive market for talent, Duo Global Consulting has announced it aims to surpass that with further growth planned for 2019.

In a market that is highly competitive, with skill shortages increasingly impacting a number of industries, it is more important than ever to do something different to attract and retain great talent. DUO Global Consulting is a professional services firm based in the North East of England. The consultancy works with clients in the region to engage new talent through creation of value-driven company cultures.

Video game industry stalwarts Philip and Andrew Oliver have departed from their roles with gaming studio Rebellion to found a new consulting outfit. Game Dragons will work with clients looking to scale up in the booming market.

A global entertainment and media outlook by professional services giant PwC recently projected the UK entertainment and media sector will reach £76 billion by 2022, growing at a compounded annual rate of 3.2%, or £8 billion. According to the Big Four firm’s research, the market was due to hit a value of £68 billion by the end of 2018.

Consulting firm Arcadis has landed a new contract with the Highways England organisation. The four year deal will see the engineering firm provide project control services to Highways England’s road investment strategy before 2022.

As a growing population, dwindling global resources and a changing climate lead to mounting problems facing the world of tomorrow, the infrastructure of the future will require new thinking to maximise quality of life for populations, while minimising its environmental footprint. To that end, engineering consultants are in high demand from planning authorities across the world, with Arcadis one of many firms increasingly being tapped to help envisage life and travel transformations for upcoming years.

The tripling of consulting spending in the past 14 years has prompted criticism, amid concerns that the funding could be better allocated elsewhere. However, the Department for Education has seemingly doubled down on its efforts, earmarking a further £2.3 million for consultants to find areas to cut costs in within the education sector.

Education is one of the most important fronts on which the future of the UK can be prepared for. Immigration controls look set to stifle the flow of talent into the country post-Brexit, while large swathes of an ageing population approach retirement age, and swift technological change means that the remaining work-force must be equipped with the relevant skills if the UK is to avoid wasting their potential, amid a depleted talent pool.

As the education sector tries to position itself for these seismic shifts, the Department for Education (DfE) has revealed that it has tripled its consulting spend over the past 14 years. While it is common for consulting spending to soar in such circumstances, as entities of all shapes and sizes seek external expertise to help accommodate for change, however, the fact that the figures have come amid a lasting legacy of austerity in the state education sector has seen it marked out for heavy criticism. The NEU teaching union was particularly cutting with its stark warning regarding the statistic.

A survey among buyers of consultancy services has identified the top management consulting and M&A advisory firms for the education sector. The list recognises large consultancies such as EY-Parthenon (the strategy consulting subsidiary of EY) KPMG, PwC, and boutiques with a focus on the education sector such as Cairneagle Associates and William Clarence Education.

Every year industry platform EducationInvestor organises the EducationInvestor Awards, a competition that is awarded to organisations and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the education sector in the past twelve months. Awards are also provided to firms and people that have done an outstanding job in promoting excellence and innovation within the industry.

Three categories look specifically at the performance of consulting firms in the sector. In the advisory and finance segment of procedings, nominations have been handed out for the services of consultants to education institutions, and to private sector entities looking to invest in education. Meanwhile, nods were also handed out to five firms for the financial advisory category.

A new report has revealed that rather than being a method of avoiding losses, predictive maintenance of equipment could create major value for businesses. As a result, more than eight in every 10 companies are exploring the topic, with the market for predictive maintenance expected to grow by as much as 40% in years to come.

Big data has been making headlines in a number of industries, promising to revolutionise the way in which businesses are able to make decisions, thereby leading to greater operational efficiency, cost reduction and reduced risk. In multiple sectors, it is also being used to predictively improve business performance, such as the aviation industry, where big data, and associated analytics are leveraged for the maintenance of aircraft, not merely to improve long term outcomes through predictive maintenance system.

Banks are facing a major compliance challenge after GDPR comes into force. If customers decided to massively request for insight into what data is held about them, then banks will face a daunting task replying to all requests. If processes and data governance are not fully prepared for the potential data request tsunami, then they risk facing serious issues and even fines.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018, could see businesses globally stung for billions, with a recent study by Oliver Wyman predicting that FTSE 100 firms could be hit by around $5 billion in fines each year. The regulation will protect EU residents from a range of potentially abusive, manipulative and unsafe uses of their data, which means that companies may be caught out unless they update their practices radically. Those found in contempt of the new legislation will be liable to fines of $20 million, or 4% of global revenues, depending on the size of an organisation.

According to data taken from the Consulting Salary Survey 2017, a large majority of Dutch freelance advisors rate autonomy (73%) and flexibility (56%) as the main reasons for becoming independents in the consulting industry.  Freelancers also said that ensuring a better work/life balance, and ensuring that their specialisms were properly utilised, were the joint-third most important factor behind their move to independence, at 40% each. The investigation – performed by Consultancy.nl and organisational consultancy Berenschot – saw a sample of more than 700 consultants across the Netherlands surveyed on their compensation and working conditions.

Strategy and management consulting remains the preferred destination of choice for graduates, according to new data. Of the UK’s students, around one-fifth are interested in pursuing a job in the consultancy industry. So what makes strategy and management consulting so popular among students? And what kind of students feel attracted to the industry?

The Benelux consulting market broke through the €2 billion barrier for the first time last year, following 3.6% growth on the back of a booming digital space. However, growth slowed from 5% the previous year as competitive market conditions begin to bite for management consultancy firms in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

An analysis of data by Source Global Research, a UK based analyst firm for the management consulting industry, shows that the Benelux region of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands recorded a fourth year of consecutive growth in 2016. The Netherlands, the region’s largest market, experienced growth of 3.3% in 2016 to hit €1.18 billion, while Belgium also recorded modest growth of 3.6%, reaching €610 million. The region’s smallest market meanwhile fared the best, with Luxembourg seeing its advisory landscape expand by 4.9% to €228 million, driven by a large financial services consulting market.