10,000 jobs boost for life sciences in the West Midlands

The region’s growing life sciences sector is paving the way for thousands of jobs over the next decade, a skills report published today shows.

Produced by employer-led local skills group The Science Industry Partnership (SIP) West Midlands, together with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), the Life Science Skills Report reveals that:

The life sciences sector employs 17,320 in the West Midlands

It contributes £6.49bn to the UK economy

Up to 9,937 new and replacement life sciences jobs needed within the region by 2030

Value added per employee (a measure of productivity) is significantly higher than regional average

62% of employees within hold a degree or equivalent level qualification (Levels 6 and 7+)

As large sections of the UK economy aim to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, businesses in the growing Health and Medical technologies sector are set to lead the way with the creation of thousands of highly skilled, productive and well paid jobs. As a sector known for its ability to compete and innovate on a global scale, many of those job roles will require new and emerging skills as employers seek to attract the very best talent.

Against this backdrop of anticipated future demand for STEM skills, employer led skills group SIP West Midlands, which officially launched this month will bring together businesses, skills providers and key local stakeholders to identify and resolve skills challenges and make recommendations for change.

Lee Cattermole, chair of SIP West Midlands and learning and development manager at Birmingham based Salts Healthcare, said: “Delivering this anticipated growth will require close employer collaboration. SIP West Midlands will give employers in our sector the opportunity to work together to ensure businesses have access to the talent pipeline necessary to deliver the exciting growth opportunities identified in today’s report.

“The output from SIP West Midlands will help shape not only the current and future skills landscape in our region, including how apprenticeship and graduate talent fits with the needs of businesses but also the attractiveness and perception of our industry.”

Tim Pile, chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We view the whole Life Sciences and in particular data driven health and medical technologies as a high growth area and a driver for inclusive economic growth. We’re working with our partners in the NHS, businesses, local authorities, and academic institutions to elevate the fantastic, life-changing work that is being carried out right across our region.

“At GBSLEP we’re making significant investments in Life Sciences, including the financing of the Precision Health Technology Accelerator (PHTA) located on the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus. Critical to the success of these assets will be a future workforce that has the right skills to meet the needs of employers and SIP West Midlands will play an important role in making this happen.”