Regulatory Affairs – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, May 2024

Regulatory Affairs Recruitment Rises in London: Vacancies Up by 8.2%


Key findings include:
  • 2024 sees a pick up for Regulatory Affairs vacancies in London, up by 8.2%
  • The biotechnology sector is the only one to show growth in vacancies, up by 5.9% YoY.
  • Clinical rols shows the biggest drop, down by 20.6%
  • GSK is leading the way and is on track for an increase of 6.5%


As the UK moves past the pandemic, the life sciences industry is still adjusting to the challenges associated with the post-Brexit regime. This, combined with the slowdown in trials during the pandemic, has resulted in a slowdown in recruitment within the sector, particularly affecting regulatory affairs professionals.

The decline has been more pronounced regionally than in London. Consequently, the share of vacancies in the capital has risen from 27.3% in 2022 to 43.4% this year, with an 8.2% growth in regulatory affairs vacancies. Regionally, vacancies have dropped significantly by 19.5%. According to the latest UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends report by Cpl and market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Biotechnology Companies Dominate Recruitment for Regulatory Affairs Roles

When deconstructing the Life Sciences sector, Biotechnology companies are the only ones actively recruiting this year, with a 9.5% growth in vacancies. This is a significant improvement compared to the previous year, which saw a 49.5% decrease. Additionally, the share of regulatory roles has increased from 12.6% to 14.8%. Nonetheless, pharmaceutical companies remain the largest area of hiring but have experienced a 10% drop in vacancies. Meanwhile, CROs are witnessing an even deeper decrease, down by 19%.

Also worth mentioning is the increase in recruitment across North England, where demand for Regulatory Affairs roles grew by 25%.

Clinical roles show the biggest drop, down by 20.6%

When analysing specific role types, the sharpest decline is seen in Clinical roles, with vacancies decreasing by 20.6% year-on-year. This has led to a drop in their share of total scientific vacancies from 19.7% to 16.9%. Regulatory Affairs has fallen out of the top five divisions in 2024. However, its market share has remained relatively stable, at 5.6% in 2023 and 5.5% in 2024. Notably, Management roles have grown by 17.6%, marking the largest increase in vacancies and raising their market share to 6.4%.

In contrast, despite a 6.2% decline in vacancies, Research & Development remains the largest hiring field, growing its share of the total from 30.7% to 31.2%.

GSK has levelled up with AstraZeneca and now leads the way

GSK is leading the way, showing a 6.5% increase in Regulatory Affairs roles compared to last year. So far this year, it has levelled up with AstraZeneca and published the same number of vacancies: 11. However, when comparing AstraZeneca recruitment activity to the prior year, there is a 2.9% decrease. Gilead is another pharmaceutical company to watch that is actively recruiting, already published 8 vacancies so far. Among CRO companies Parexel has been the most active, surge in vacancies by 38.5%. 

In contrast, the biggest decrease in hiring was noted in Viatris and Merck, down by 35.7%.

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