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Published: 26th March 2024

Rise in people choosing careers in life sciences

The number of people choosing a career in life sciences has risen by 17 per cent over five years, new figures have revealed – including a 5.4 per cent increase in the most recent 12 months for which data has been collated.
  • Between 2016/17 and 2021/22 the number of people employed in the sector around the UK rose from 259,901 to 304,190, according to the latest available figures from the  Office for Life Sciences. This includes 118,810 directly involved in manufacturing, with another 107,003 working on research and development.
  • Across the country, the sector generated more than £108 billion each year in turnover across almost 8,000 sites.
  • The fastest-growing subsector was advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), with an average annual employment growth of 24 per cent.
  • Jobs in digital health rose 59 per cent over the same five-year period, driven by a number of advances in mobile health technology and applications, highlighting the increasing demand for data and digital skills.

Business Unit Leader in Membership & Strategy at Cogent Skills, Tina Sawyer, said

Life sciences offers a huge range of exciting and challenging careers and it’s so encouraging to see even more people are choosing to work in the sector.

“But we can’t be complacent and we can always do more to support the sector in attracting and retaining the best talent – which is why we’re redoubling our efforts to help employers to recruit more apprentices and delivering engaging careers outreach work in schools to showcase the many careers available in life sciences.

Future Ready

Cogent Skills is sector based, working with companies from across the Science and Technology Industries embracing Life Sciences, Industrial Sciences and Nuclear.
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