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Jobs boom predicted for UK chemical & pharmaceutical industry

SMEs are expected to drive growth in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, with thousands of job opportunities also predicted, according to Scantec.


Peter Rowland, scientific manager at Scantec, said, “The recruitment industry is now placing around 10,000 candidates a year in scientific research, development and manufacturing.  There are thousands of jobs being created driven in particular by the health and technology sectors, this is offering huge opportunities for graduates and experienced professionals.


“We are seeing demand for candidates in certain regions in particular, namely Oxfordshire, East Midlands and the North West, these areas are a hub for R&D & manufacturing.  Much of this job demand is being driven by SME’s, who are manufacturing and developing products for the big players in the sector.”


Scantec says the chemical and pharmaceutical industry is the source of the UK’s largest manufacturing export and annual job growth. According to the CIA (Chemical Industries Association), there has been an 11% increase in the chemicals sector and a 10% increase in the pharmaceutical industry.


Rowland added, “The chemical and pharmaceutical industry employs around 160,000 people across the UK and this number is increasing. The big shift in the industry, from our perspective, is the growth of the smaller firms in the sector. It’s the SMEs who we’ve seen as being most active in recruiting new candidates and a key driving force behind the new job opportunities being created.”


Scantec’s top five roles, which they’ve seen particular demand for in the past six months are:


  • QC analytical chemists
  • Formulation scientists
  • Analytical method development chemists
  • Quality assurance (QA) officers
  • Organic chemists



Rowland commented, “The CIA report that 40% of businesses in the industry expect sales volumes to grow further during 2016.  New job opportunities will go hand in hand with this predicted growth and over the next few years we will not only have more job opportunities but potentially there could be a skills shortage on the horizon, as demand outstrips the candidates available.”



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