Wales is one of the worst affected areas for the UK Veterinary shortage, and has seen an 8% increase in the number of veterinary job listings over the past month.
There are around 2,000 vacant roles in the veterinary sector every year but only 900 vets qualify from approved universities year on year. Aberystwyth is the only veterinary university in Wales, and this won’t produce graduates for a few more years.
Usually, vets from within the EU have plugged the shortfall in the UK, but since Brexit, this number has dropped rapidly. This is due to new rules set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), that require vets to formally meet a high standard of English at level 7, compared to level 4.1 which is required for a skilled work visa.
We currently have over 30 vacancies for veterinary roles in Wales, including area managers, export veterinarians, certification support officers and meat hygiene inspectors.
Working in veterinary controls is a vital job that allows the production of food to carry on being distributed around the country. However, without an uptake in the number of qualified vets, it is likely we will see more struggles and shortages across the nation.
We are calling for qualified vets to seriously think about applying for a role within veterinary public health, which arguably provides a greater work life balance than working with companion animals and plays a crucial role in ensuring food production levels can be maintained and checked safely.