Life sciences skills gap report released


A new cross-industry report has been released today, delivering a better understanding of the life sciences sector’s workforce needs and skills gaps.

The Report, 'A Survey of Workforce Skills and Capacity in the Medical Technology, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Digital Health (MTP) Sector', is seeking a clearer view of current, emerging and future needs.

Results showed great concern for ‘global experience’ (65% rated as major concern or concern) and a common theme was a concern for both business and commercialisation expertise. The identified concerns were mostly related to mid-and-senior-level recruits, rather than entry-level. More than half of the respondents worked in SMEs.

Industry-specific skills and experience, and talent attraction and retention continue to be a significant issue for the industry and the report works to identify where these gaps are located. Managers with hiring responsibilities and HR professionals were invited to complete the survey.

An analysis was undertaken on the quantity and quantity of candidates, and their level, across a multitude of areas:

  • Business skills and commercialisation expertise;
  • Regulation and quality;
  • Clinical (including trials);
  • Biological sciences and technologies;
  • Informatics, computation, mathematical and statistics; and,
  • Chemical science.

Many thanks to the AusBiotech members that took the time to provide valuable feedback.

A part of AusBiotech’s strategic plan, the significance of the work was initially prompted by the sudden and damaging tightening of skilled migration visas in April 2017, when the issue came into the spotlight as a widely-used tool to fill the skills gaps that exist in Australia.

Highly skilled and globally-connected talent is at the heart of Australian innovation and success in our medtech, pharma, biotech and digital health sectors. People are the underlying foundation of success and by addressing the current and emerging gaps in our workforce enables the sector to plan for its future growth, to advocate for pathways to address them, and ultimately to continue to strengthen and grow the industry so that Australia remains a world-leading location for health innovation.

The cross-industry project, led by MTPConnect, included AusBiotech, Medicines Australia, MTAA and ANDHealth.

Download the report.