Employers and Business Schools urged to collaborate to create the next generation of sustainable leaders

As UK economic growth slows, AMBA (the Association of MBAs) has launched a campaign to develop the next generation of sustainable leaders, kicking off with an event during which some of the worlds business schools – collectively offering more than £5 million in MBA scholarships – will meet with aspiring MBA students.

 Following news from the Office for National Statistics that industrial output in the UK in February 2016 had fallen 0.5% from February 2015, AMBA will, this week, launch a campaign to bring together those educating the leaders of the future, those recruiting them, and those aspiring to lead; after its research exposed a need for strong and strategic links between these three groups, to develop momentum in stimulating ongoing economic growth.

 Research conducted by AMBA’s strategic partner GMAC surveyed 748 employers and found that 84% planned to recruit MBAs in 2015 compared to 74% in 2014.

 In fact, the research found that the MBA was the most sought after post-graduate qualification in the opinion of the employers surveyed. And the good news for people with MBA qualifications, is that according to AMBA’s most recent Careers and Salary Survey MBA graduates can expect an average salary of £96,661 - an increase of 18% since 2012.

 As the importance of sustainability has risen up the corporate agenda, AMBA’s 2016 member survey of 2,007 MBA students and graduates, revealed that 70% of respondents believe that in the current economic environment, sustainability and ethical management ability will be a skill employers will look for over the next three years.

 Speaking exclusively to AMBA, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilver backed up the finding. He said: “The moment you become a good leader is when you realise it’s not about yourself – investing in others, society and what I call the common good, is when you make an investment in yourself to prosper… The basic skills MBAs need are integrity and hard work – but our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world needs different leaders with a high level of awareness, engagement, humanity and humility.”

In response AMBA has set out on a mission to build stronger links between MBA students, those looking to take an MBA, businesses schools and employers. This will kick off with an accredited MBA fair later this month, bringing together high-potential leaders and some of the world’s top business schools including INSEAD, London Business School and Imperial College Business School. Representatives from the schools, which collectively offer more than £5 million worth of annual scholarships, will meet with aspiring MBAs to give them a taster of what it’s like to complete an MBA and provide guidance on the application process.

This will be followed in July with a conference for employers and schools in a bid to nurture further connection and collaboration.

AMBA’s chief executive Andrew Main Wilson said: “As the global labour market becomes increasingly heated and economies remain volatile and uncertain, businesses need a new breed of leader to future-proof economies, ride the chaos and innovate through this complexity. Businesses and businesses schools have to collaborate and rise to the challenge of finding these diamonds in the rough.”