The supply of science graduates in Europe is failing to match the skills needs of employers, research shows.
A report by the Institute for Employment Studies reveals selective shortages in particular skills such as IT and the under-use of life science and engineering skills.
Other findings show that in some countries across the EU, unemployment among newly qualified scientists and technologists is relatively high. In particular, the survey revealed that there is under-employment for some engineers and life science graduates in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.
The EU study of 210 R&D centres over two years found that most employers still recruit from within their own countries.
The survey also found employers are increasingly looking for recruits to have both personal and technical ability.
Richard Pearson, co-author of the report, said, “There is less scope for boffins sitting in a corner. Scientists have to be financially aware these days.”
However, the research found data about the supply and dem-and of science and technology skills is inadequate. Pearson called for the establishment of a European science and technology observatory to monitor and report on key trends in the availability of these skills.
He said, “A good supply of science and technology skills is an essential element of our prosperity. The effective operation of these critical labour markets, with skill shortages co-existing with over-supply, requires better information.
“The establishment of a European science and technology observatory would be a significant first step, to monitor and report regularly on key trends.”
Pearson called for the observatory be set up urgently. www.employment-studies.co.uk
By Karen Higginbottom