Science Industry Partnership

15 Feb 2019

Perspectives: fixing the leaks in the STEM pipeline - improving employability, skills development and careers


In November 2018, SIP Chair Dr Malcolm Skingle set out his views at the Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar; next steps for tackling STEM skills gaps - widening participation, improving delivery and increasing employability.

Malcolm shared his perspectives to the audience of employers and influencers, talking about the ambition of the Science Industry Partnership (SIP), which has a clear aim to work in partnership with Government to establish the vocational skills needed to build a high value, productive and competent scientific workforce.


“... the good news is that the Government is keen to transform the education training landscape so that it meets the demands of industry, while at the same time students want an education that is interesting, as well as providing a good career path – and of course one that leads to a reasonable salary.”

Malcolm also gave his account of GSK’s commitment to apprenticeships, and how the organisation is going about bringing in New Talent:

“Of course we will always have a commitment to the traditional training routes, and we take lots of people, with degrees and with PhDs, and frankly with post-doc experience.

“But increasingly we are taking apprenticeships, so in 2011 we had 10 learners in one of our manufacturing sites; we have now got just over 300 across the whole business and it ranges from roles in Process Control at L2 up to Clinical Research Associates which we are just developing up to L 6/7.

“And they are getting a good press! So we currently have 286 CASE students, undertaking part of their PhD studies in GSK labs; we have more than 300 undergraduate placements, where the student works in GSK laboratories for the third year of a four year degree – and now the numbers for apprenticeships we have in the business are in that ballpark.”

Download the Full Perspectives Paper

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