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Cpl Life Sciences' Industry Analytics Report - 2020 in Review

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Our latest industry analytics report features analysis within the Life sciences Industry in 2020.
Cpl Life Sciences CEO, Yvette Cleland comments:

A new year, a higher gear!

It was daunting looking back on Britain’s life sciences labour market in 2020 amid a global pandemic, the final stages of Brexit, and how clinical vacancies dropped drastically due to the crisis and clinical research’s unique challenges.

But, there are already encouraging signs that this coming year may be a good one. The recovery to new roles coming in has been quick. As a talent expert within life sciences, Cpl Life Sciences saw a dramatic increase in clinical roles at the end of 2020 — and a continued surge in 2021.

Britain is now ahead of Europe for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials — and third in Phase III behind Germany and Spain. Investment in biotech was record-breaking, attracting £2.8bn in equity finance. This pushed up hiring dramatically, by 25% year-on-year. With a few notable exceptions, underlying trends are strong coming out of 2020.

The talk is of life sciences’ pivotal role in driving Britain’s post-Brexit economy. However, if we want to lead the world in this field, we need to nurture the skills that will help take the industry to that next level.

A recent report estimates we need 133,000 new skilled workers across biopharma, R&D and MedTech to 2030. Apprenticeship schemes in life sciences can help bridge the gap, and also enable a more diverse and inclusive workforce. The Trailblazers and ensuing industry schemes in clinical research and regulatory affairs should have provided a great springboard for new talent.

However, uptake has been incredibly poor. Only around 30 apprentices embarked on a clinical research apprenticeship since it commenced. And there’s still no viable national plan to address this shortage in a sector deemed critical to our national economic ambitions.

Where will new talent coming into life sciences be developed? Who is ultimately responsible for the training of these skilled workers? Too many are shrugging their shoulders and passing the buck.

It’s just not good enough. It needs to be all of us. Every employer who requires highly skilled labour in life sciences must step up and play their part. Where there is no accountability, there will also be no responsibility — and we all have a vested interest in Britain becoming a science superpower. It’s time to step up and take charge of our destiny.

Read the full report here.

For more information about Life Sciences, please reach out to:

Yvette Cleland, Chief Executive Officer- Cpl Life Sciences, yvette.cleland@cpl.com