The UK has an ambitious aim to be a world leader in life sciences. In November 2017, the government published its Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, which has the aim of supporting industry and innovation.  Yet the sector remains in a precarious state. The UK’s current migration system restricts the ability to compete for highly skilled life sciences workers, and there are fears that Brexit could make things much worse.

Last month, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published its full review of the shortage occupation list, which documents occupations in high demand in the UK. The Committee recommended that a number of key life science research professions, including biological scientists and biochemists, be among those added to the list of critical jobs.

The life sciences talent shortage in the UK is further exacerbated by a shortage of people with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) qualifications entering the industry.

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