Pitches for recruitment firm

Plugging the life sciences skills gap (x2) – While much has been made of the skills gap within the life sciences sector, the issue is often framed as a lack of STEM graduates. In reality, however, life sciences is a heterogeneous field and the problem has more to do with a few very specific areas of need.

For instance, more work than ever is being undertaken in newer fields such as bioinformatics, health economics and data mining. This is leading to a shortfall of candidates with the necessary mathematical skills.

Additionally, the structure of the industry is changing. These days, there may be fewer employment opportunities at large pharmaceutical companies, and more at smaller biotechs and higher education institutions. This means graduates may need to think beyond the obvious when seeking a life sciences job.

For this piece, I propose interviewing someone at the ABPI, which has published reports on the life sciences skills gap, along with other industry commentators. This could potentially be divided into two articles – one exploring emerging business models within the life sciences sector, and the other asking how research itself is changing and what kind of skill mix is required.

Looking outside life sciences – As the life sciences industry becomes more results-oriented, many companies are changing the way they approach recruitment. Rather than looking exclusively within the life sciences sector, they are drawing in talent from other industries, in particular retail and FMCG, to bring something new into the mix.

This article would explore how personnel with a non-life-sciences background might be a perfect fit for the sector. I would look at the advantages from both sides – both in terms of what these people can bring to the industry, and how they themselves might benefit from making the jump.

I propose drawing on famous examples (e.g., Emma Walmsley at GSK, Joseph Jimenez at Novartis) to strengthen my case. If appropriate, I could interview a few people who have moved into the life sciences sector from elsewhere.

The life sciences industry post-Brexit (if for a UK-based recruitment firm) – The government’s Brexit White Paper listed 12 priorities, one of which was ‘ensuring the United Kingdom remains the best place for science and innovation’. However, many within the industry have expressed concerns about the post-Brexit outlook, pointing out that UK-based companies stand to lose EU R&D funding and that pharma companies are likely to be subject to a heavier regulatory burden.

This article would take a broad overview of the post-Brexit life sciences industry, asking what the impacts, both positive and negative, are likely to be. In particular, it would explore the effects on the job market and ask what the priorities for life sciences companies should be. What kind of unexpected opportunities (e.g. within training or research) might arise? I would try to speak to a broad base of commentators in order to unravel the true story.


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