According to new research, life sciences firms in England and Wales are hiring R&D and laboratory scientists in record numbers, as the government continues to promote the UK as a global life sciences hub.

A report by specialist recruiters Cpl Life Sciences and data analysts Vacancysoft revealed that the sector experienced a very fruitful 2021 and levels of all new jobs grew by 37% year-on-year in the wake of Brexit. Scientific recruitment for R&D, clinical and management vacancies grew by 70%, 88% and 86% year-on-year, respectively.

Meanwhile, laboratory roles contributed to the majority of new jobs, accounting for 17.3% of total scientific hiring, with over 1,100 vacancies. This represented a 100% year-on-year rise and a 192% boost, compared to pre-pandemic levels. The fastest growth was experienced by hiring for scientific professionals in clinical management (210%), clinical operations (167%) and microbiology (162%).

Yvette Cleland, CEO, Cpl Life Sciences, said: “The UK demonstrated throughout the pandemic how effective it can be when industry, academia, government, charities and the NHS all work together. One of the clearest measures for the achievements of the life sciences sector – one of the dominant knowledge-based economic sectors in Britain – is through the prism of numbers of jobs on the market.”

“Central to the government’s Life Sciences Vision is a focus on cultivating a business environment where firms can access finance to innovate and grow, are regulated in an agile and efficient way and are incentivised to onshore manufacturing and commercialise products in the UK. For this vision to transpire, each life sciences organisation must also step up with tangible investments and actions in training for future skills,” she added.