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How do we supercharge and sustain skills in UK Life Sciences?

people employed in the UK life sciences sector in 2021
Only 34%
of UK 14-18 year-olds think science is relevant to their life [1]
of students engaged across 13 schools in the North West
North West schools engaged with the interactive video lesson

Medicines Discovery Catapult is reshaping drug discovery for patient benefit by transforming great UK science into better treatments through partnership. The life sciences industry is critical to the UK’s health, wealth, and resilience. Attracting, recruiting, training, and retaining a skilled workforce is key to ongoing success in this critical sector.

The life sciences sector is among the most valuable and strategically important to the UK economy.[2]

In the UK, life sciences employment has increased continuously since 2012. According to the Office for Life Sciences, there were 282,000 people employed in the UK life sciences sector in 2021 – a 4% increase compared to 2020. 

Medicines Discovery Catapult is at the life science industry’s epicentre. Ideally placed to identify key areas where drug innovators need advanced skills to enable the development of game-changing medical breakthroughs and benefit patients.  

Global competition and the application of new disciplines, such as AI and complex personalised medicines, means that the sector’s continued growth depends upon building

[1] British Science Association, 2022
[2] Bioscience & Health Technology Statistics, 2021

a multi-disciplined pipeline of bright minds already in the industry and the ability to attract new talent with specialist skills.  

As part of this mission, Medicines Discovery Catapult continues to contribute to skills development by:

Nurturing and inspiring the next generation of scientists is joyful and purposeful. They will be crucial in growing our sector and improving our healthcare, so encouraging agile and multidisciplined scientists into the industry has never been more important. Our daily interactions with a wide range of R&D innovators allow us to see gaps and foster skills development from the roots up. We will continue to build upon the initiatives we, and our colleagues across the UK, have established to ensure a steady pipeline of multidisciplined, investible talent to sustain our sector’s growth long into the future.

Chris Molloy
CEO, Medicines Discovery Catapult