Author Archives: Tyler Sharp

  1. Charting Growth: Perspectives on Scotland’s Evolving Job Market

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    Despite recent reports showing a temporary dip in recruitment activity across Scotland, we maintain an optimistic outlook regarding our workforce’s resilience and the opportunities that lie ahead. While the Royal Bank of Scotland’s latest findings indicate decreases in both permanent staff placements and temporary roles, it’s crucial to keep sight of the broader context.

    Acknowledging contributing factors such as lower business activity and ongoing uncertainty, we recognise these challenges as catalysts for adaptation and growth. While businesses may adopt a cautious hiring approach in uncertain times, it’s important to understand this is a temporary phase. As the economic landscape stabilises, recruitment activity is expected to rebound.

    Encouragingly, certain sectors like medical, nursing, and care display resilience despite overall declines, emphasising their significance in driving employment and maintaining vital services. While the rate of pay growth has temporarily slowed, we attribute this to broader economic factors like the cost-of-living crisis and skills shortages, ensuring fair compensation remains a priority.

    Also, with the upcoming increase in the minimum wage, this could mean more jobs become more attractive to prospective workers. Recruitment agencies will play a crucial role in assisting businesses in navigating these changes and ensuring fair compensation practices while fostering continued growth and opportunity in Scotland’s evolving job market landscape.

    Moving forward, agility and adaptability are paramount for businesses to navigate changing market conditions. As a recruitment agency, we’re committed to providing tailored support and solutions to meet evolving needs. By embracing challenges and seizing emerging opportunities, we can collectively drive growth and prosperity in Scotland’s job market.

    Despite momentary setbacks depicted in recent reports, every challenge presents an opportunity for innovation and progress. With confidence in Scotland’s workforce resilience, we’re dedicated to fostering meaningful connections that fuel success for individuals and businesses alike. Let’s approach the journey ahead with optimism and determination.

  2. June Scottish STEM Digest – Exciting Developments in Science, Manufacturing, and Sustainability!

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    Scotland has been buzzing with ground breaking STEM news across various industries this past month, showcasing its commitment to innovation, economic growth, and sustainability. From Merck’s significant investment in biosafety testing to Pioneer Group’s expansion of lab space, and Carbogenics’ innovative waste-to-product facility, Scotland is making waves in science, manufacturing, and environmental advancements. Read ahead to find out this months selection of STEM news from Scotland.

     

     

    Assortment of different medicinal drugs, tablets all in different colours.

    💉 Merck Invests €35 Million in Biosafety Testing, Creating 500 Jobs and Advancing Drug Safety in Scotland!

    Merck, a leading science and technology company, is investing €35 million in biosafety testing at its Glasgow and Stirling sites. This expansion will create nearly 500 new jobs, bringing Merck’s total workforce to over 1,200 employees across the two locations. Biosafety testing is a critical step in drug development and manufacturing, ensuring the safety, efficacy, and regulatory compliance of drugs. The investment includes a new 1,200-square-meter facility in Glasgow for molecular biology and sequencing services, as well as expanded testing capacity in existing buildings.

     

    Merck’s commitment to global medicine safety is demonstrated by investments exceeding €350 million in their global testing network since mid-2022. With a wealth of testing expertise spanning over 75 years, including 33 years in Scotland, Merck’s biosafety testing services in Glasgow and Stirling have experienced strong growth. This investment acknowledges the exceptional work of Merck’s on-site teams and reinforces their dedication to providing cutting-edge testing solutions. The company’s BioReliance® testing services portfolio performs over 20,000 studies annually for more than 500 clients worldwide. Merck aims to achieve Group sales of approximately €25 billion by 2025, with the “Big 3” businesses, including Life Science Services, playing a significant role in this growth strategy.

     

     

    Manufacturing facility at night

    🏭🌍 National Manufacturing Institute Scotland Opens Flagship Facility in Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District

    The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), operated by the University of Strathclyde, has inaugurated its state-of-the-art flagship facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) in Renfrewshire. This new campus aims to boost the country’s economy, foster skills development, and create sustainable communities. Acting as a global hub for advanced manufacturing, the 11,500-square-meter carbon-neutral facility, situated next to Glasgow Airport, will support manufacturing, engineering, and technology businesses of all sizes. Through innovative research and development, the institute will enhance productivity, enable access to emerging markets, drive technological advancements, and help companies achieve their net-zero targets.

     

    Scotland’s manufacturing sector, employing over 179,000 people, contributes to more than 50% of the country’s international exports and 47% of business expenditure on R&D. The facility will house the NMIS Manufacturing Skills Academy, a connected Digital Factory, and a collaboration hub. The NMIS Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC) will also relocate to the new building, splitting operations between the facility and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre. The NMIS Digital Factory will feature technology zones dedicated to growth areas such as food and drink, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), circular economy, and digital transformation for sustainable manufacturing.

     

    The opening ceremony was led by Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf, and the facility showcases clean and innovative low-carbon solutions, including a large-scale rooftop solar array, access to a low-carbon district heating network, and a rainwater harvesting system.

     

     

    Food waste

    ♻️ Carbogenics Raises £1m for Innovative Waste-to-Product Facility in Scotland

    Carbogenics has secured over £1 million in funding to establish its first research, development, and production facility in Scotland. The company specialises in converting challenging-to-recycle food, farm, and paper waste into a unique product called CreChar. This carbon-rich, porous material is designed to enhance the performance of anaerobic digestion plants. The investment comes from new lead investor Green Angel Ventures, as well as existing supporters Scottish Enterprise and Old College Capital.

     

    With successful lab and industrial trials, Carbogenics plans to construct its production facility in Perthshire, enabling the introduction of CreChar to the UK anaerobic digestion market. The facility is expected to become operational by the end of the first quarter next year. Additionally, Carbogenics is doubling its workforce by creating new positions in production, operations, and business development. As part of its expansion plans, the company is actively seeking further debt and investment financing in the following months.

     

    The current investment round will remain open until November. Chief Executive Ed Craig expressed confidence in the company’s growth prospects, emphasizing the ability to scale the business, establish the production facility, solidify the customer base, and expand into European markets. With energy security becoming a priority in the energy transition, Carbogenics believes the UK will increase its utilization of biogas and follow the footsteps of its trading partners in Europe, aligning with sustainability goals.

     

     

    Microscopes lined up on a table in a laboratory.

    🔬🏢 Pioneer Group Expands BioCity Glasgow Campus with New Lab Space

    Pioneer Group, the UK’s largest developer and operator of lab space, has secured planning permission for a 72,800-square-foot purpose-built lab space at its BioCity Glasgow campus, marking a significant expansion in Scotland. The development will unfold in two phases, featuring a three-story building with 33,300 square feet of lab space in phase one, and a two-story building offering 39,500 square feet of essential facilities in phase two.

     

    This expansion will elevate Pioneer Group’s presence in Scotland to over 308,000 square feet, catering to a diverse range of market segments from start-ups to established companies. The new lab space will provide flexible layouts, fully fitted Grade A facilities, and access to an innovation ecosystem that fosters collaboration among academia, government, and investors. Positioned between Glasgow and Edinburgh with convenient transportation links, BioCity Glasgow is on track to become a globally competitive hub for research and innovation. The existing 22-acre campus already accommodates 108,000 square feet of lab and office space across eight buildings, supporting incubation and hosting renowned companies in the life sciences sector.

     

    Pioneer Group’s investment and expansion aim to address the shortage of lab development in Scotland, supporting the growth of the vibrant life sciences industry by delivering over 200,000 square feet of purpose-built lab space in the country over the next two years. By providing state-of-the-art facilities and nurturing a collaborative environment, Pioneer Group plays a pivotal role in attracting start-ups, fostering innovation, and positioning Scotland as a prominent player in the global life sciences landscape.

     

     

     

    These developments demonstrate Scotland’s dedication to scientific advancements, economic growth, and sustainability. From driving drug safety to fostering innovation in manufacturing and transforming waste into valuable resources, Scotland is leading the way in these crucial sectors.

     

    Check back next month for an update on the most exciting STEM news in Scotland as the country continues to make strides towards a prosperous and sustainable future.

     

    In the meantime, follow our LinkedIn to keep up to date with the most relevant STEM news from Scotland as it develops, or check out our website for exciting new roles in the STEM industries.

     

  3. Working from home DOES work!

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    A few weeks ago now, we read an article stating that Boris Johnson had come out against working from home – see news article. This started a conversation in our office with everyone sharing their own opinions, so we quickly asked the guys to put their thoughts in to a few sentences and posted them on our LinkedIn.

     

    In light of the recent news from The Netherlands making working from home a legal right we thought we’d share again what Team STEM had to say on the matter – and with Scotland seeing the biggest rise in people working from home, could we be next?

     

    Working from home DOES work! STEM Recruitment Solutions were early adopters of a work from home lifestyle. As experts in the field, we asked our consultants how they feel about working from home:

     

    “Having the flexibility to work from home or in the office is a great benefit and provides a good work-life balance. I feel productivity has increased, and with no travel involved, can get my head down with no distractions. Working in the office is also important for interaction with colleagues and keeping that ‘team vibe’ going.” – Sharon Boyd

    “I honestly prefer working from the office with STEM. I really enjoy the atmosphere and find it much easier to communicate with the team face to face and to respond quickly to changing situations. On the other hand being able to mix up my schedule and never miss important events with the family is something I would never want to give up. This was one of the key policies we introduced when we set up STEM and everyone has benefitted from this since day one.” – Gavin Gallimore

    “As a working parent, WFH has allowed me the flexibility of both working from the office and engaging with the team, whilst being present for my family as and when I need to be. I thoroughly enjoy hybrid work, and the interaction of an office environment, plus the support from my peers. However, being offered remote working throughout the week has maintained a structure which was imperative to my personal situation.” – Nikita Pennie

    “I really think it is beneficial to work from home a couple of days per week as you can focus more and be more productive due to less distractions. I can also spend less time commuting in busy traffic getting to work, so less stress!” – Debbie Watson

    “No distractions = more productive!” – Andrea Pluddemann

    “I prefer to have a hybrid working approach. I feel at home I get more work done as I don’t have many distractions (except from the occasional postman). My dog likes me better for it too and I can be more active at home on my lunch breaks. In the office, there is a great atmosphere and a lot of team bonding even if it’s just making a coffee together. Being in the office also offers morale boosts as you can see the excitement with new clients and placements!” – Kayleigh McLeish

    Don’t get us wrong, we love seeing the beautiful faces of our team in the office. However what we love even more is seeing and hearing these positive impacts of a WFH/hybrid approach! We can see how this has positively impacted our business through our results too; we are growing year on year!

    What do you think about working from home after the past 2 years? Let us know!

     

  4. How to Make an Entrance in STEM

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    Getting your first job following education can be intimidating. Why would any of these successful and influential companies want to hire me? It’s easy to forget that employers want to hire graduates; we are eager to learn and pick-up new skills; the things we learnt are fresh in our minds; and we do not have any bad habits. So how do we get these companies to notice us in a sea of fresh graduates all foaming at the mouth for their first wage? In this blog I have identified 6 key steps which help you bag your dream job.

     

    • Internships and Placements

    Although not everyone is in a position where they can justify completing a low paying internship; if it is something you can sustain, it will really impress an employer as you are being pro-active in expanding your skillset. If you are fortunate enough to be offered a placement throughout your studies, do not turn it down! Having experience in the field will put you head and shoulders above others when applying for a graduate role. During your placement or internship make sure to:

      • Impress your supervisor and ask them if you can use them as a professional reference
      • Write down all the machinery, equipment, techniques, and software you used to include in your CV
      • Reach out to them to see if they are hiring when you begin applying for jobs – placements/internships are a great way to get your foot in the door

     

    • Networking

    Networking can benefit you in your job search and helps you make more contacts within the field who can provide you with information and advice. Networking can be done in numerous ways, however, the easiest and most common form of networking is done through social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter. A simple way of gaining contacts within a similar industry is to search companies you are attracted to and add people who work in a role that you might be interested in. Once you are connected to these people you can see what they had done before taking on this role – where they worked, what they studied at university etc. You can also use social media to connect with people who work within recruitment, wether this be a recruitment agency (like us at STEM Recruitment Solutions) or company hiring managers. Networking can also be done throughout your time at university by getting to know your lecturers and attending job fairs.

     

    • Deciding which role is right for you

    It can be difficult to decide which path in STEM you would like to go down when you leave higher education. First you must identify what is truly important to you when looking for a job. Do you have kids and want to be able to work form home? Do you want to work shifts to beat the traffic where you live? Do you just want a high salary and will do any work? Regardless of your answers to these questions, it is important to take a step back and analyse what you enjoyed and did not enjoy during your studies. It is easy to be sucked into applying to any job you qualify for, however, what is the point if you are not going to love it? I myself studied forensics and pharmaceutical chemistry at university, and after 5 years of hands-on laboratory experience, I realised that lab work wasn’t for me, and so I began looking for a customer facing role. If you are happy in your job, you are more likely to excel!

     

    • Your CV and Cover Letter

    What to include

    Writing your CV is often the hardest part of finding a new job as selling yourself to an employer can feel unnatural and embarrassing. It is challenging to identify the skills you have that are useful to the job you are applying for, but altering the phrasing of your experience to make your CV stand out is simple! ‘I worked in a cafe when I was at uni’, does not sound very impressive. However, ‘Alongside my studies I was responsible for caring for up to fifty customers at one time, whilst providing excellent customer service and processing payments correctly.’ No matter how irrelevant or unrelated you think your previous work experience is, you will have gained skills employers look for in any role, for example, time-management, team work, leadership and problem solving.

     

    The Format

    The format of your CV is important to ensure you are providing employers with the necessary information to offer you an interview, without bombarding them with a sea of words and images. Templates with extensive colours and structuring (no matter how pretty they look) will only distract the reader from what you have written. Instead, use a simple template and create lists with bullet points – avoiding long and wordy paragraphs. There are many simple templates available on Microsoft Office Word. This can be downloaded for free through your universities email address here.

     

    Cover Letter

    When a cover letter is written correctly it can make you stand out significantly during the hiring process. A cover letter should be addressed to the hiring manager and should be written in a letter format. Before writing a cover letter you should read the job advert you are applying to and write down the key skills they require successful candidates to have. For example, if a role requires an MSc, you should include a brief description of your final project and the grade you received. The qualities a successful employee will have are included in a job advert – such as hardworking, a team player and self-motivated -, these are ‘key words’ and should also be included when you are describing your work ethic. You should finish your cover letter by stating when you are available for an interview in the coming weeks and how they should contact you.

     

    • Interviews

    Preparing for an interview can seem a daunting challenge, however, this is your time to impress an employer and show them what you can bring to the company!

    Here are some key points to consider when preparing for an interview:

    • Research the company and its products
    • Be nosey – look up your interviewer on LinkedIn and find out what their background is so as you can talk to them about it
    • Ask the dress code prior to your interview
    • Write down 10 scenario questions in the STAR format and memorise them before your interview. Examples of the STAR format can be found here and scenario questions here
    • Don’t be embarrassed to take notes into your interview to ensure you don’t forget anything; employers will be impressed that you have prepared beforehand!
    • Make sure to ask questions at the end of the interview (I would suggest 3-5). This shows that you are interested in the job and would like to know more

     

    Due to COVID-19 many interviews are now done over teams and zoom. If this is the case, make sure to download the relevant app on your laptop AND your phone – technology can be temperamental, and you always want to have a backup if there are any issues. Ensure your background is clean and bright so as not to distract the interviewer. If you are fortunate enough be offered an in-person interview, make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early so as you have time to read over your notes a final time before your interview starts.

     

    • Dealing with rejection

    If at the end of the application process you have been successful, congratulations! However, if you have not been successful in this scenario, you have still gained interview experience and now your next interview will not be as nerve-racking. Following a rejection make sure to ask the person who interviewed you/ your agency for feedback to help you improve for your next interview – sometimes there is just someone who has more experience than you. Regardless, getting to the interview stage amongst hundreds of applications is an achievement and you are another step closer to bagging your dream job!

     

    Remember the only thing standing in the way of you and a job in STEM is yourself.

     

    Good luck!

    Megan McLean

    Scientific Consultant

    megan.mclean@stemrecsolutions.co.uk

     

  5. STEM are Branching out with a Blog!

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    For years now STEM Recruitment Solutions have been working at the top of the recruitment industry in Scotland. Whilst we are an established recruitment consultancy with a proven history of success, we are constantly looking for new methods through which we can help both our clients and our candidates. We want you to gain a better understanding of our team and what makes our recruitment consultants the best of the best.

     

    Through this blog we will be able to:

    • Offer valuable insight into the job hiring process specifically related to the STEM industries in Scotland
    • Showcase the talented consultants we have at STEM Recruitment and the value that they can offer you in your job hunt
    • Give tips and tricks you can add to your CV and cover letter to give you the edge you need
    • Help you get to know our team better
    • Share our own career stories and the lessons we have learned after years in the industry
    • Bring you along to industry events and conferences
    • Keep you up to date on relevant industry news

     

    We hope you join us as we journey down this avenue to aid our clients, candidates and you in navigating the STEM industry together.

     

    Check back soon for our first STEM blog from Megan on how to make an entrance in STEM.

     

    We’re branching out!

    -STEM Recruitment Solutions

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