Establishing a skills pipeline is crucial. This is even more of a focus following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
The pharmaceutical industry has been proactive about STEM skills and employability, encouraging students from a diverse range of backgrounds to pursue careers in a highly productive sector of the economy.
In 2015 the ABPI identified major skills gaps in some areas. These include mathematics; bioinformatics; statistics; data and informatics; computational skills; translational medicine/clinical pharmacology. All these areas must be addressed for the industry to thrive.
As part of our commitment to the development of a skills pipeline, the ABPI has taken a cross-sector approach - together with the British Pharmacological Society and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Health Education England - to support the formation of the Clinical Pharmacology Skills Alliance.
This Skills Alliance represents the interests of the pharmaceutical industry, and the clinical pharmacologists who are working across industry, academia and the NHS. It will develop creative solutions and deliver key competencies in line with priorities across the healthcare and life sciences sectors.
STEM education and skills need promoting at all levels. The skills gaps will change as technology, working practices and legislation continue to evolve and need to be addressed continously.
Multiple routes to meeting skills needs are required. Although development and uptake of apprenticeships is to be encouraged, these alone will not bridge the gap.
We welcomed the focus on education and skills in the Government’s Industrial Strategy and we are working on initiatives in areas of most need- now and for the future.
Currently migrants from EEA and non-EEA countries bring much needed, highly skilled talent which enriches the UK. As the UK leaves the EU there must be an immigration system that is needs-based, rapid and provides certainty of outcome.