Corporate Services – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, June 2024

UK’s Labour Party Eyes Improved EU Trade Relations Amid Vacancy Turnaround


Key findings include:
  • UK Corporate Services vacancies increased by 9.5%, while EU saw a 14.6% rise.
  • In the UK, the Sales profession has shown the biggest growth in vacancies, up by 19.2% 
  • In the EU, the demand for Sales vacancies has increased by 23.6%.
  • Syneos Health leads the UK, while AstraZeneca leads the EU


The UK’s political landscape is particularly noteworthy with Europe facing a series of summer elections. If it gains power, the Labour Party has explicitly stated its intention to improve trade relations with the EU. Although specific plans have not been detailed, any shift in this direction could alleviate the sectoral dampening caused by Brexit.

Corporate Services, encompassing finance, HR, sales & marketing, and legal functions, are central to business management. In the UK, these roles saw a significant contraction in vacancies in 2023, with a 32.2% drop. However, 2024 has witnessed a positive shift, with vacancies increasing by 9.5% year-to-date. The year began robustly, with Q1 2024 showing a 31.1% rise in UK vacancies and a 17.9% increase in the EU compared to Q4 2023. According to the latest UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends report by Cpl and market data analysts Vacancysoft.

UK Sales Vacancies Surge in 2024, Rebounding from 2023 Decline 

Among the professions with increased vacancies in 2024, Sales stands out, maintaining the highest number of vacancies at 1,411, a 19.2% increase year-to-date after a 25.9% decline the previous year. Sales roles have shown the fastest growth in both vacancies and market share, rising from 29.0% to 31.6%.

Notably, Greater London, which experienced a 26.0% decline in vacancies in 2023, reversed this trend with a 17.6% increase year-to-date in 2024, maintaining its position as the region with the highest vacancies. Additionally, South West England and Yorkshire & the Humber, which saw significant declines in 2023 (34.6% and 50.4% respectively), have since increased by 52.1% (Yorkshire) and 53.3% year-to-date.

EU has mirrored trends observed in the UK

Sales remains the profession with the highest vacancies in the UK and the EU. Despite a 17.3% decline in 2023, Sales vacancies in the EU increased by 23.6% in 2024, reaching 8,453. Conversely, the Accounting profession experienced the most substantial growth in vacancies in the EU, rising by 30.6%.

Notably, Dublin, Ireland, showed the largest vacancy increase, up by 34.2% year-to-date after a 22.4% decline the previous year. Île-de-France remains the region with the highest number of vacancies at 1,646, with a 10.1% increase in 2024.

Syneos Health leads the UK, while AstraZeneca leads the EU

Syneos Health in the UK reversed its previous decline, transforming a 22.8% drop in 2023 into a 96.2% increase year-to-date, securing its position at the top of the UK list with peak vacancies of 451. In the EU, AstraZeneca leads with a 41.4% increase in 2023 and a further 2.4% year-to-date.

Other notable UK companies increasing vacancies in 2024 include Ipsen, with an 86.7% rise, and Cytiva, which recorded the largest increase at 140.0%.

Within the EU, Eurofins remains the leading CRO in recruitment activity, with 614 vacancies so far this year, potentially increasing by 17.9% over last year.

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