Here they meet and share ideas and experiences, and establish and maintain links with academia, relevant Government departments, Research Councils and other organisations who provide higher education and skills training.
The main aim of these activities is to create an environment to support and develop the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills base in the UK. This skills base will develop the skilled people required by companies that produce medicines. The country, and biopharmaceutical industry, needs a continuous supply of high quality scientists, engineers, doctors and many other specialists, to meet the demands of an evolving and more technology-based world.
In 2005, 2008 and, most recently, in 2015 we surveyed our member companies to identify their concerns around recruitment of people with appropriate skills into different roles. Reports of these surveys were disseminated widely and have been used by the ABPI to identify and take forward actions to overcome the concerns raised.
A Science Industry Partnership (SIP) was created in 2014 to take action to address the needs of employers in the life sciences. The SIP has attracted a £52 million investment (with contributions from Government and employers) to develop new and emerging science talent, creating more than 7,800 education and skills opportunities over a two-year period.
The SIP structure is an employer-led and managed arrangement for engaging in skills development and delivery. The SIP Board will provide a high level strategic conversation, setting the context for decisions about skills needs.
In 2014–15 ABPI is leading on two projects to establish the current skills concerns of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies. These will provide evidence of needs to be considered for future action by the SIP.
Through the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) companies who manufacture medicines in the UK have completed a survey which establishes their skills needs and the ABPI has complemented this with a survey to establish skills concerns in other areas. Information on issues around recruitment of people with the skills companies need in the following areas were sought:
The findings of these surveys will be discussed, and actions to take forward agreed, during 2015.