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UK biotechnology booming, according to APSCo

The number of new job openings within biotech increased by more than a third (36.1%) during the year ending 31st August 2017, according to the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). This is despite the fact that overall vacancies within the life sciences sector dipped by 5.2% during the same period.

This comes following reports from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) that the UK’s biotech sector is primed to close the gap on San Francisco and Boston, the two leading centres for life sciences, after receiving more venture capital funding than any other country in Europe last year.  

The data, which is provided by Vacancysoft, also found that demand for professionals within ‘Big Pharma’ decreased by 12.2%, while hiring activity within Contract Research Organisations (CROs) remained largely stable, with vacancies dipping by just 0.15% over the 12-month period.

The majority of vacancies recorded (55.4%) continue to be for scientists, however the profession saw 6.3% fewer openings year-on-year. Demand for sales staff, meanwhile, increased by 8.8% over the year.  

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, commented, “Despite concerns around how reduced access to markets post-Brexit will impact UK pharma jobs, the sector remained resilient in the year to August, with biotech performing particularly well.

“The pharmaceuticals sector currently supports around half a million jobs in the UK, and contributes roughly £60 billion to our economy. While overall vacancies are down marginally, the fact that global pharma giants, such as AstraZeneca are continuing to invest in the UK indicates that future opportunities look bright. Particularly when you consider that BIA’s report found that the UK had the most robust clinical pipeline in Europe.”

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