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Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches report on the skills needs of the Biopharma industry

Date: 08 August 2016 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches report on the skills needs of the Biopharma industry

Up to 8,400 job openings to arise in the sector to 2020

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., today Monday 8th August, launched a new report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EFGSN) on the Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland.  The objective of the study is to review the supply of, and demand for, skills for the Biopharma industry in Ireland up to 2020.

Launching the report, Minister Mitchell O'Connor said, “The Biopharma industry makes an important contribution to the Irish economy in terms of employment and manufacturing exports. The sector employs over 28,000 people and creates significant secondary employment in construction and other services when investment in new plants is under way. A significant number of Biopharma investment announcements have been made recently by IDA Ireland across the regions, with a potential capital value in the order of €4 billion. The availability of people with the right skills and talent to work in Biopharma will be critical to the continued growth of the industry as these investments come on stream. The report by the EGFSN into the future skills needs of the sector is therefore timely, and will help industry and Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that skills supply to the sector can be met.”

The Minister for Training Skills and innovation, John Halligan T.D, said, “The Biopharma industry provides a range of excellent employment opportunities across all levels of the manufacturing process, from technicians, engineers, and scientists, to management and support staff. I would encourage students to consider the many rewarding career opportunities available in this growing industry. It is anticipated that 8,400 potential job openings will arise in the Biopharma industry in the period to 2020, between expansion and replacement demand. The Expert Group’s report suggests that the quantity of skills supply required to meet the needs of the industry should be available, through a mix of graduate intake, upskilling of those seeking employment, and continuous professional development of those already working in the sector.”

Speaking at the launch of the report, the Chairperson of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, Una Halligan, said “The Biopharma industry is undergoing rapid change at a global level, particularly with the growth in the development and manufacture of new and complex Biologic drugs. For Ireland to maintain its position as a key hub for Biopharma manufacturing, we need to ensure that we anticipate the changing skills requirements of the sector and ensure that there is a close alignment between industry’s needs and the skills being taught in the education and training system.”

Ms. Halligan added “We have worked closely with the Biopharma industry in preparing this report on the future skills needs of the sector, and the Expert Group has produced a set of recommendations which can serve as an Action Plan for addressing the skills needs of the sector up to 2020. The successful implementation of the recommendations will require the full commitment and collaboration of all stakeholders.   Regular reviews of the programmes in Third Level Institutions should be held to ensure that they are market-informed and relevant, while there is also a need for a greater number workplace training opportunities to be made available to students by the industry.”

Read the full report here.