Key recruitment trends from the latest UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends report by Cpl Life Sciences and market data analysts Vacancysoft, show that in 2022 there were over 4,100 new scientific vacancies published in the ‘Golden’ (Cambridge, London and Oxford). This translates to a slight decrease from 2021, when there were over 4,500 jobs, resulting in a year-on-year fall of 9.1 per cent.

A closer look at the Golden Triangle shows that Cambridge boasted the highest numbers between 2020 & 2022 (almost 5,400 vacancies), closing the year with over 2,000 new jobs. Meanwhile, Cambridge accounted for almost half (49.1 per cent) of overall scientific vacancies in 2022. However, this constituted a slight year-on-year drop of 5.6 per cent from 2021. London (10.7 per cent) and Oxford (19.8 per cent) posted bigger year-on-year falls.

Sarah Goddard, Switzerland Country Director at Cpl Life Sciences, commented: “The Science and Technology Framework launched by the UK government is a strategic vision and set of goals designed to help the country achieve ten key actions by 2030. The vision of UK research and development (R&D) investment matching the scale of a science and technology superpower is compelling. Delivery under the Science and Technology Framework would look to catalyse private sector R&D and boost the innovation activity of firms leading to UK economic growth. To achieve this, the UK must attract the best talent from around the world, build a skilled workforce for tomorrow’s industries, provide infrastructure and investment to bring technologies to the market, and encourage a regulatory environment that supports innovation. It can only be hoped this is an enduring framework that will be executed well and see us through to success by 2030”.

At over 1,500 scientific vacancies, Pharmaceuticals made up the bulk of the new jobs in the Golden Triangle. Despite having the biggest volumes, this failed to better 2021 totals, equating to a year-on-year decrease of 10.7 per cent compared to 2021.

Contract research organisations (CROs) was the sector taking the runner-up spot, posting over 1,300 jobs in 2022. This was followed by Biotech with numbers over 1,100. However, all sectors experienced falls in relation to 2021 volumes: CRO (10.3 per cent) and Biotech (5.2 per cent).

In terms of the most in-demand skills across the life sciences industry in Cambridge, London and Oxford, the most significant sector in the past year was R&D, which published almost 1,500 vacancies across all three cities. This specialism topped the table in Cambridge (14.5 per cent), reaching the fastest yearly rise in that city, and also in Oxford (0.6 per cent), where it experienced a modest growth. Meanwhile, Clinical was the dominant market specialism in London, despite a small dip (5.2 per cent).

However, the fastest growth year-on-year in London and Oxford was seen in Quality Assurance (9.6 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively).

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