Nurse, Vaccine Scientist, Logistics Manager, Financial Services app and Software developer working from home

As lockdown comes to an end in the UK, Tom Way, SThree’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, shares his gratitude for some of the sectors we must be most thankful for.

As lockdown measures are lifted in the UK and begin to ease in Ireland, we know the pandemic is not over, but we want to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all our clients that have helped the country, and indeed the world, come this far.

STEM organisations have been at the forefront of the ongoing recovery, and we have seen countless contributions from different clients that have helped the country to stay safe and carry on with their lives. I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on just some of the inspiring work we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic and express our gratitude for the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes.

Perhaps the obvious place to start is the public sector. We’re lucky enough to work extensively with the NHS and the contribution that colleagues across this incredible organisation have made cannot be overstated. They have saved lives in the most trying circumstances imaginable and we will all be forever grateful.

Of course, there have been valuable efforts made elsewhere in the public sector, be that from local authorities helping to deliver support to residents in their area, to schools, colleges and universities embracing distance learning so that students can continue their education. Thank you all for your dedication and adaptability.

The life sciences industry has also made a momentous contribution to the world during the pandemic. The sector has developed vaccines and treatments at unprecedented speed, saving countless lives and giving us hope for the return to some kind of normality. There have also been some incredible examples of medical device development, which have helped both medical professionals and individuals to monitor health data remotely. Across the board, we have seen individuals and organisations in this sector step up to the challenge presented by Covid-19. Know that here at SThree, we appreciate each and every one of you and recognise the efforts you have made.

Of course, it is not just those working in the life science or public sector professions that have kept the country going. Despite supply chain disruption and remote working challenges, engineering firms, energy companies and manufacturers have adapted and evolved to meet rapidly shifting demands. Be it firms that have altered their production lines to produce PPE or energy firms that have overcome infrastructure challenges to keep delivering, it has been humbling to witness.

Other organisations have taken great steps to support customers through personal challenges. The financial services industry, for example, showed great agility to provide relief and support for customers that might be struggling to make payments following pandemic-related economic difficulties. The industry also quickly adopted and implemented new technologies developed by the FinTech industry to ensure that seamless service could be provided remotely, and we remain hugely grateful for these efforts.

I’d also like to make special mention of the technology sector, which has been vital in keeping all industries going throughout the pandemic. With much of the workforce moving to remote working, the innovation and expertise from this industry has been an inspiration. The sector’s work to protect us all from cyberattacks has also been vital. According to research from Deloitte, cyberattacks using previously unseen malware or methods increased from 20% of all attacks to 35%. It is only through the constant hard work of businesses and individuals working across the technology sector that so many of these attempts were kept at bay. In a world that quickly became more connected than ever, these efforts were hugely important and they did not go unnoticed.

While the path the pandemic will now take is uncertain and there are still challenges ahead, I’d like to conclude by expressing my optimism for the future. The steps forward that have been taken across the STEM sectors mean we are better tooled to overcome new barriers than ever before.

There are more opportunities now than ever before for the UK to be a world leader in so many areas. At SThree, we have identified five key post-pandemic recovery drivers; digital transformation, healthcare, supply chain and logistics, remote working and green economy. On top of these drivers, organisations must now focus as much on ESG as their bottom line.

I have been immensely proud of our employees in the part they have played to facilitate the work of STEM organisations in pursuit of these aims. The understanding my colleagues have shown throughout the pandemic has ensured that organisations have completed business critical projects on time, and that talented people with the right skills have found meaningful, purposeful work.

While it is said that necessity is the mother of invention, I am confident that the organisations we work with need no such motivation to continue innovating and leading the way, long into the future. We are excited to support them on their journey.

About the author - Tom Way

As Managing Director for SThree in the UK and Ireland, the second largest STEM staffing market in the world, I am extremely proud to lead a business where we bring skilled people together to build the future.

I have worked at SThree for 16 years, in a career that started in London with a focus on Banking and Financial Services before moving to San Francisco and starting SThree’s Life Sciences practice on the West Coast.

On return from the USA I led our European Life Sciences business before taking my current role. I am driven by developing a purpose-led organisation where strategy is developed through the lens of our customers and candidates. In doing so, my vision is to a create a culture of total motivation. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Computer Futures, Huxley, Progressive Recruitment and Real Staffing are all part of the SThree family of brands.