Closing the Lab Industry Talent Gap: Unleashing Jiteen Ahmeed's Expertise
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Closing the Lab Industry Talent Gap: Unleashing Jiteen Ahmeed’s Expertise, the Head of Technical Services, to Fill the Funnel! 

 

Today, we have the privilege of speaking with Jiteen Ahmeed, Head of Technical Services at University Radiological, to discuss the talent gap in the lab industry and potential solutions.

Welcome, Jiteen!

  1.  Jiteen, what do you believe are the primary reasons for the talent gap in the lab industry in the UK?

There are a few key reasons contributing to the talent gap.

Firstly, salary plays a significant role as professionals are enticed by higher-paying opportunities in other sectors.

Additionally, Brexit has had a considerable impact, causing talent to leave the country or relocate elsewhere.

Moreover, job descriptions that are too specific can limit the pool of candidates.

To address this, we should consider broader job descriptions and make use of recruitment services while ensuring honesty and managing expectations throughout the hiring process.

  1. How does the talent gap in the lab industry affect the overall healthcare system in the UK?

The talent gap poses several challenges to the healthcare system.

For instance, securing pharmacists has become increasingly difficult due to complicated visa applications and higher living costs.

This results in prolonged vacancies, disrupting the workflow within healthcare organizations.

Additionally, the lack of a skilled workforce combined with stringent visa requirements exacerbates the talent gap.

We have also observed nurses exploring alternative schooling processes, further straining the system.

  1. In your opinion, what steps should the UK government or educational institutions take to address the talent gap in the lab industry?

Ideally, we would have avoided Brexit, as it has significantly impacted the talent pool.

However, going forward, the government and educational institutions should work towards facilitating the visa application process and consider exceptions, similar to what has been done for hauliers.

Additionally, we need to focus on upskilling the existing workforce since a substantial number of experienced professionals have recently retired, leading to a loss of valuable knowledge.

Prioritizing ongoing professional development and training programs is crucial.

  1. Are there any specific skill sets or qualifications currently lacking among lab professionals in the UK?

While professionals can enroll in courses to gain theoretical knowledge, it is equally important for them to learn from experienced individuals and apply that knowledge practically.

Increasing the number of apprenticeships and diversifying their experiences would be beneficial.

The introduction of T-Levels, which provide practical experience in healthcare, engineering, and labs, has been quite valuable.

Changing attitudes towards T-Levels is also essential, as they bridge the gap between traditional A-Levels and apprenticeships, offering practical exposure to the field!

  1. What strategies or initiatives have successfully attracted more talent to the lab industry in the UK?

Two notable initiatives that have been effective include T-Levels and the Technicians Commitment.

T-Levels provide students with practical understanding and experience in the lab industry.

The Technicians Commitment has played a significant role in recognizing the diverse responsibilities of technicians and raising the profile of lab careers.

Moreover, substantial investments and government involvement have increased awareness and interest in lab professions.

  1. How important do you think ongoing professional development and training programs are in closing the talent gap in the lab industry?

Ongoing professional development and training programs are vital in narrowing the talent gap.

It is crucial to coach and empower staff, providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge.

However, it is equally important for lab professionals to enjoy their work.

Recognizing and rewarding staff, expressing gratitude, and fostering a positive work environment are crucial aspects of talent retention.

  1. Do you believe that the perception of the lab industry as a career choice needs to change to attract more talented individuals? If so, what can be done to change this perception?

Absolutely.

We should start by educating schools and colleges about the lab industry and the various career opportunities it offers.

We need to showcase the potential and future advancements in the field to attract talented individuals.

Opening up work experience opportunities and engaging with the community can also help change the perception and generate interest in lab careers.

Thank you, Jiteen, for sharing your valuable insights on the talent gap in the lab industry and the steps needed to address this issue. We appreciate your time and expertise 🙂

To join the debates, discover more industry insights, and stay up to date with the latest Lab Innovation news make sure you register your interest for Lab Innovations 2023.

About Lab Innovations

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Lab Innovations                                                                        Stone Junction Ltd

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