Following the UK Government’s publication of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy in 2017, the industry has since grown by 5,700 new jobs.
Although there appears to be a drive for growth from the UK government, a recent survey conducted by Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) found that UK resident students who qualified in biological sciences were “least likely to be employed into professional/graduate level occupations”. Talent leaders can overcome these challenges by adopting a total talent approach to engage with future employees early and by taking a market-minded, social and employee-centric approach.
The government’s industrial strategy also outlined that individuals with STEM qualifications and experience are highly sought after in the industry. The number of STEM undergraduates have increased in recent years however, the demand remains unmet from employers and these skills “are important for a range of industries from manufacturing to the arts” as the UK seeks to increase productivity and innovation.
Taking a ‘total talent’ mind set is vital to success
This could be explained due to a lack of students with a ‘total talent’ mind set, which is becoming increasingly more important for STEM hoping to work within the sector. In order to overcome these problems, graduates must adapt their skill set and include more soft skills, such as time management and problem solving, in keeping the with the ‘total talent’ skill set that is so vital to success.
In addition to a change in mind set that the market is demanding, there is also an overall shortage of people who are able to adapt to the more “hard to fill” vacancies. Due to this, the MAC has recommended that a number of key life science research professions, including biological scientists and biochemists, be among those added to the list of critical jobs. The increase in demand is met by the increase in uncertainty caused by Brexit, which could possibly halt the grand plans for growth in the sector of the UK Government.
What is needed for continued growth in the industry?
Within the life sciences industry there is a desperate need for innovation and adaptation from graduates hoping to secure employment within the industry; without a change of mind set and a decrease in uncertainty, the growth will be restricted.