A new online tool dedicated to helping students seeking work placements and graduate employment within the life sciences industry has been launched this month.

Thanks to the University of Reading and the Biopharma Skills Consortium (BSC), students can readily access advice on how to make stronger applications for work placements and employment. The web pages (www.bsc-biopharma.org.uk) will also improve students’ understanding of the industrial environment and highlight how to make a rapid impact when starting a new job.

The new resource is timely as a High Fliers report released on 14 January 2013 found that a third of jobs will be filled by graduates who have already spent time at a company, through work experience or industrial placements during their degree.

Dr Orla Kennedy, Associate Dean Science (Teaching and Learning), from the University of Reading, which  leads the BSC, said: “The recent High Fliers report shows just how important work placements are for securing graduate employment. This website allows students access to audio clips that provide insights in to working in the bioscience sector and contains guided web links to useful web sites and training materials.”

Dr James Gazzard, Professor of Workforce Futures at the University of East Anglia (formerly based at The Royal Veterinary College, University of London) added “in a globally competitive job market university students and recent graduates need support to help them to effectively engage with employers. It is vital that universities develop platforms to support students to articulate their skills, particularly higher level competences gained through work placements”

The online tool is the concept of the Biopharma Skills Consortium (BSC) which comprises seven universities from across the south-east. The resources form part of the BSC’s on-going commitment to addressing the skills needs of the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors; the BSC encourages STEM students and staff across the UK to use these resources in their placement and employment preparation.

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