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Flexibility around workforce and skills shortage major concern for Thames Valley Life Sciences Business Community


The importance of having a business and academic friendly Brexit to ensure flexibility around the workforce was a major concern for businesses attending the first in a series of Life Sciences and Healthcare (LSH) business roundtables.

Organised by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce the event was hosted at leading life sciences company Bayer’s stunning offices in Green Park, Reading. A cross section of representatives from academia and businesses from across the Thames Valley, including SMEs and major corporate companies, were invited and collectively navigated the complexities and issues concerning those around the table.

Whilst many concerns and issues were covered throughout the day under the theme ‘how to ensure that the Thames Valley remains a great place for life sciences companies to do businesses’, three key points were collectively agreed upon by everyone in attendance:

  • Skills shortage – attendees highlighted the importance of having a business and academic friendly BREXIT to ensure flexibility around the workforce as well as developing closer links between education and business whilst making greater use of the apprenticeship levy.
  • The need to create a compelling narrative about the LSH sector in the Thames Valley to continue attracting high calibre and innovative companies to the region.
  • Improving the ongoing connectivity between corporates and start-up companies.

Paul Britton, CEO at the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, who welcomed the group, commented: “Fantastic response to the first Life Sciences roundtable and there was definitely a strong appetite for the group to continue and develop its remit even further. Over the coming months, we will look at forming a Thames Valley LSH business lead group, that will be chaired by the Chamber, but will allow us to work in close partnership with many of the major companies within the sector that call the Thames Valley their home.”

The event was chaired by Simon Greenstreet, Head of Communications Bayer UK & Ireland, who further added: ‘It was a real pleasure to host the first Life Sciences and Healthcare Businesses roundtable at our UK headquarters in Green Park. The enthusiasm and passion around the table was really inspiring and without doubt, testament to the commitment of participants to address important issues that affect the future needs of the sector – to make sure it remains a key driver of growth at the heart of the Thames Valley.”

A second LSH roundtable has been planned for Spring 2018 at Harwell Campus, Oxford.


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Sarah Irving

Head of Marketing & Communications

Direct dial: 01753 870500

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