Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is being forced to recruit overseas because there is such a dire lack of science graduates in the UK, the drugs company has warned.
Dr Jackie Hunter, a senior vice-president at GSK, who leads one of the firm’s global drug development centres, said the UK was suffering from an acute shortage of qualified scientists, the Times reports.
The situation meant GSK had to recruit from France, Spain, Germany and India.
“There is a real need across the industry [for more UK graduates]. It’s an increasingly globalised labour market,” Hunter said.
She said the problem had been made worse by the fact that several major UK universities had scrapped their chemistry departments as part of a cost-cutting exercise.
“A lot of universities look at laboratory-based courses as something that is very expensive for them to run,” she said.