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Careers in Science Q1 2022

A job in the pharmaceutical industry could be a career for life

iStock / Getty Images Plus / gorodenkoff

Andrew Croydon

Skills & Education Policy Director, the Association of the
British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)

Delivering the Government’s Levelling Up plans will depend on our ability to support people to develop skills we need to grow our most innovative sectors. 

Britain’s pharmaceutical industry offers a wealth of career opportunities for people with different skill sets – not all of which are science based – attracting first jobbers and career switchers from everywhere. The pandemic and the move to remote working have made many of those opportunities even more accessible.

Levelling up through informed choices

Whilst social, physical, or institutional barriers remain, levelling up should undoubtedly be in everyone’s interest and at the heart of the debate around future careers – supporting people to make informed choices about their future careers, irrespective of where they live, who they are or their background.

Getting the right people with the right skills is a ‘win-win’ situation. Finding the right job in the right working culture that matches your skills set, circumstances, personal goals and career aspirations is a fantastic thing, not just for your future, but for your health and wellbeing.

The pharmaceutical industry offers lots of roles that do just that. But what is even more exciting is that companies are actively trying to recruit new talent – including those who can help us marry digital skills with scientific knowledge. Our new skills report shows that these are in demand. It is a brilliant opportunity for young people and a reflection of the increasing role data and digital is playing within life sciences, R&D and manufacturing.

Finding the right role for you

For current job seekers we have 80 pharmaceutical recruiters in one place and we’ve committed to support STEM education through our schools website to support young people as they explore science and make informed career choices.

Drawing on what we know from our labour market research, we are also working with higher education institutions to improve course availability and ensure courses boost student employability. 

The Government also has a part to play, it is positive that they have engaged with recommendations the ABPI has put forward. Recommendations include using the newly funded Institutes of Technology to prioritise the application of digital skills in the life sciences sector and increase the provision of life science apprenticeship training across levels 2-7.

Of course, traditional academic routes for getting into the pharmaceutical industry remain open and we encourage young people to explore these routes as well. We believe in breaking down barriers to enter our sector and we encourage young people to find out more.

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