Survey finds lack of science and tech talent in UK
- Hays Recruiters cites the lack of well-qualified STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) talent in the United Kingdom.
- The firm cautions that policy makers need to start growing STEM talent early---at the elementary school level.
- The U.K. has taken steps to strengthen its STEM education.
Like the U.S., the U.K. faces the challenge of STEM education. In a survey of life sciences employers, Hays Recruiters found that 55% of employers cannot find the people they need to fill certain spots; 65% have increased salaries for well-qualified workers and 67% anticipate an increase in salaries next year. They also found that employers generally find that one-third of candidates applying to a particular job do not have strong enough STEM capabilities or credentials. The most pronounced needs are for scientists, engineers, statisticians, SAS programmers and biometrics specialists.
In addition to encouraging a greater STEM focus during early education, such as teaching elementary school students to code, the British government has taken definitive steps. In April 2014, MedCity was launched, an initiative aimed at strengthening links between elite medical institutions in London, Cambridge and Oxford. The government has also established the Office for Life Sciences in which the Department of Health and the Department of Life Sciences are collaborating to attract life-science research funding and activity. In addition, Epidarex Capitol, a venture capital firm, has raised 50 million euros to help establish more early-stage life sciences companies.