Biotech recruitment in Germany overtakes the UK

For the first time in 10 years, Biotech Recruitment in Germany is higher than in the UK

If the worst kept secret in politics is that Kier Starmer will be the next Prime Minister, (the latest odds give him an 87% chance of being so) then upon taking power, he will have to make a decision about which Tory policies to continue, and which, to discard. No set of policies are more divisive than those to do with Brexit, hence spotlighting Biotechnology which is now starting to be negatively impacted, following the pandemic period ending and the industry globally returning to equilibrium, as this is an area that Starmer may need to change UK policy on, in order to revitalize.

Due to the long R&D cycle, Biotech is highly sensitive to access to private equity along with capital markets, and for companies in the sector, the challenge of liquidity in AIM is creating its own pressure. In the last month, Redx announced plans to delist and with that, it is now worth noting that since the high point of AIM in 2008, prior to the global financial crisis, where over 2000 companies were listed, now there are approximately 60% less PLC’s listed. The point being, London went from being the Financial Services capital of the EU, with the ability to centralise the capital markets of the continent around the LSE. Now this is no longer the case.

Similarly, for the Biotechnology sector, which has historically been a place which is science first, nationality second, the hostile environment which has been implemented, has made it harder for businesses to attract the talent they need, and given the sector is as globally fluid as it is, the danger is more Biotechs look to set up in a location where securing the workforce they need cost effectively is enabled by Government, not hindered by politicians more interested in a partisan agenda, than good governance.

Finally, despite much noise to the contrary, MHRA, the UK drug regulator, is still significantly slower in approving drugs for trials than the EMA. So for a Biotech thinking where they should invest and set up, despite the lure of the golden triangle eco-system, the hangover from Brexit, namely reduced capital markets, hostile immigration and slower more ineffective regulators, means that businesses are moving with their feet, and scaling up elsewhere, or choosing not to ramp up their UK functions to the same extent.

And the evidence can be seen in the recruitment data. For the first time in ten years, Germany has overtaken the UK has a hub for recruitment into biotechnology. Starmer has already come out with initiatives designed to reshape industry, from Great British Energy, to Great British Rail. What does he propose to do, so to kickstart British Biotech from its current stupor?


The data referenced above has been sourced from Vacancy Analytics, a cutting-edge Business Intelligence tool that tracks recruitment industry trends and identifies emerging hotspots. With 17 years of experience, we have a deep understanding of market activities in the UK and globally.

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