Ipsen shares results from innovative research partnership exploring young people’s attitudes to science

In partnership with New Scientist, Ipsen UK has surveyed almost 800 young people to understand interest in future science-based careers.

July 2021 – Ipsen Ltd., in collaboration with New Scientist, today shares findings from ‘The Future of Science’ survey[i]. As a significant life sciences employer in the UK, Ipsen commissioned the research to understand young peoples’ (aged 7-21 years old) current perceptions of careers in science. The survey found that 41% of the young people said that the pandemic has increased their interest in science and medical careers, and 5 in 6 respondents said they would consider a career in these areas[i]. However, the research also unearthed a number of perceived barriers that might prevent young people from pursuing a future in science. [i]

  • Two in five (40%) young people felt science and medicine related jobs are not equally accessible to people from all ethnic backgrounds and genders.
    • This belief increased with age, rising to over half of 16- to 21-year-olds (51%).
  • 35% of 16- to 21-year-olds said they have not had a conversation about university courses or career options in medical and life sciences at school.
  • 17% of young people were put off a career in science because they don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry.

John Chaddock, VP Head of REED Operations at Ipsen and Site Head Ipsen Milton Park, comments: “Whilst it is encouraging to learn that the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted more young people to consider a career in science, it is worrying that gender and ethnicity present potential barriers. It is imperative we heed the issues highlighted by this research and work collectively with peers in both government and the life sciences industry to address them in order to ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of scientific research.”

Earlier this year, the UK Government announced its ambition to transform the UK into a life sciences superpower[ii], with Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently launching The Office for Science and Technology Strategy. However, there is a shortage of necessary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills in the UK, which has been estimated to cost businesses £1.5bn per year in terms of recruitment, temporary staffing, inflated salaries and additional training costs. [iii]

Andrew Croydon, Skills & Education Policy and Examinations Director at The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), adds: How we nurture the next generation of scientists will be central to the discovery of the next generation of medicines and treatments.  This research shines a light on how the incredible scientific response to COVID19 has inspired young people to consider careers in science and medicine.  We’ve got to capitalise on this opportunity, and ensure more young people are supported to consider higher education in STEM subjects and into careers within the sector.”

Ipsen has a long-standing commitment to promoting careers in science and has a variety of graduate and apprenticeship schemes open to young people with a passion for science.  Ipsen is looking across its UK business to ensure career opportunities are equal to people from all backgrounds and intends to use the findings from this research to launch further programmes which will help inspire the future generation of scientists.

 

Contact:

Ian Weatherhead | Ipsen UK | 07584 230 549 | ian.weatherhead@ipsen.com

Katy Foy | akt health communications | 07794700151 | katy@akthealthcomms.com

Milly Aylett | akt health communications | 07584177187 | milly@akthealthcomms.com

 

Notes to editors:

About the ‘future of science’ research:

The findings were informed by a survey of 797 young children and adults aged between 7 and 21, which was conducted throughout March and April 2021i. The survey was commissioned by Ipsen, in partnership with New Scientist. The purpose of this research was to better understand young people’s medicine and science career aspirations.  Find out more about Ipsen / career opportunities: https://www.ipsen.com/uk/

About Ipsen UK:

Our team in the UK is a core part of Ipsen’s global biopharmaceutical business and offers a rich environment full of heritage, talent and opportunity. We have a biotech mindset coupled with pharmaceutical capabilities and have invested in a robust business presence in the UK that spans the early stages of R&D (Abingdon, Oxford) through to in-house manufacturing (Wrexham, Wales) so we can effectively deliver on our promise to UK patients. As part of this investment in the heart of UK life sciences, we employ over 700 people across our three major UK sites, including our commercial headquarters in Bath Road, Slough.

Additional information:

Ipsen’s STEM ambassador program at its Wrexham site has been running for nearly 5 years and encourages science careers amongst students at a variety of schools and colleges. The company also has ongoing apprenticeship programmes across two of its three sites, with an anticipated 2022 launch date for the third site. Ipsen runs a Graduate Programme from Slough and Wrexham offices, with the aim to source and develop talent from the next generation. In 2017, Ipsen Wrexham was a finalist for the STEM Inspiration Awards for Large Employers.

Please find an animation displaying the key survey findings here.

[i] Ipsen Data on File ALL-UK-001361

[ii] Hancock: Transforming the UK into a life sciences superpower – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

[iii] EMSI. Focus on the demand for STEM jobs & skills in Britain. Available at: https://bit.ly/2TjKDbf Last accessed: May 2021

 

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Date of Preparation: June 2021

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