Education and skills

Teacher and student working together

​We provide a forum for our member companies that are involved in academic and educational activities. Here they meet and share ideas and experiences, and to establish and maintain links with academia, relevant Government departments, Research Councils and other organisations who provide higher education and skills training.


Creating a supportive environment

The main aim of these activities is to create an environment to support and develop the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills base in the UK. This skills base will inevitably provide the skilled people required by companies that produce medicines. The country, and pharmaceutical industry, needs a continuous supply of high quality scientists, engineers, doctors and many other specialists, to meet the demands of an evolving and more technology-based world.

In 2005 and 2008 we surveyed our member companies to identify their concerns around recruitment of people with appropriate skills into different roles. Reports of these surveys were disseminated widely and have been used by the ABPI to identify and take forward actions to overcome the concerns raised. The reports can be downloaded from this page.

The Office of Life Sciences (OLS) identified the most urgent skills issues to address in its 2009 Blueprint document (PDF, 547KB), and follow up report Delivering the Blueprint (PDF, 1.3MB). A forum was set up to agree and take forward action to address these. The responsibilities of this group were taken over by Cogent Sector Skills Council's Life Sciences Advisory Council in December 2010. Cogent has set up a Life Sciences Board and Advisory Council to discuss and agree action to address the needs identified.

ABPI support for schools and careers

We have an interactive Resources for Schools website, with science content for students, teachers and parents, which supports the National Curriculum, visit

The ABPI Careers website gives students, parents, careers advisors and graduates an overview of the industry and the kinds of careers that are available within companies that produce medicines, visit


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