The Irish Life Science industry has been a significant contributor to the economic recovery, employing over 50,000 people directly and exporting more than €45 billion annually. Considering the first Pharma companies opened in Ireland in the 1960’s these numbers prove how the sector has grown and prospered in a short time frame. In this time industry has changed from producing bulk active ingredients for export, to today where finished products are shipped directly to market. The Irish Life Science facilities continue to add more complex and higher-value activities, with some of the most technically challenging Biotechnology processes being designed, developed and scaled up in Irish manufacturing facilities.

Due to this enormous success in the sector a rapid expansion is forecast from now until 2020 with 12,000 potential job openings to be created in the Pharma, Biotech and Medical Device sectors in that time frame. The tax environment may be seen to attract global companies here however the skills available in Ireland have undoubtedly been a major competitive advantage over other locations.

We now need to maintain this edge and ensure we have the skills to keep up with the demands of this fast moving industry. Following the Expert Group on Future Skills Need report last year concerns were certainly raised over a significant skills shortage driven not only by the industry capacity expansion, but also by the changing technology which is driving a need for continuous change.

Initiatives are now in place to address these concerns and high quality upskilling courses are available, through the Springboard+ programme, to those looking to progress in the Life Sciences. Many of these courses are available to study part time and online. At LSC we are huge advocates of continuous professional development and would encourage anyone who is eligible for these courses, to apply to ensure that you are best placed to exploit the opportunities that arise from industry trends and changes.

Below are routes to a number of courses which are available and currently open for enrolment:

NIBRT Springboard+ Biopharma course

The NIBRT Springboard+ programmes are specifically designed to assist people seeking employment in the biopharmaceutical industry and are supported by leading companies including Alexion, Allergan, Amgen, BioMarin, Bristol Myers Squibb, IDA Ireland, Lilly, Merck Sharp Dohme, Nexvet, Pfizer, PPD and Regeneron.

The courses start in August-September 2017 and will feature practical labs in NIBRT’s award winning facilities to provide applicants with the practical skills and experience required by the biopharmaceutical industry. Course Info >>

Irish Medtech Association Springboard+ course

The Irish Medtech Association Springboard+ course has a number of programmes, funded by Springboard+. These were previously only for unemployed persons but are now designed to re skill and/or upskill existing employees, as well as provide out of work engineers and scientists with the skills to take up new work in the Medtech sector. Click here for further details.

Read our blog on Continued Professional Development amongst Life Science Contractors 2016 where we conducted a survey of industry contractors to gauge the level of CPD by contractors in the Life Sciences industry.

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