Big Job Growth in Biopharma

A new report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) predicts significant growth in Ireland’s biopharmaceutical industry. The report, titled “Skills for Biopharma,” estimates the creation of 21,000-26,000 new biopharma jobs by 2027. This expansion builds upon the sector’s consistent growth over the past five years.

Biopharma: A Cornerstone of the Irish Economy

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Peter Burke, highlights the biopharma sector’s critical role in Ireland’s economic success. He emphasizes the report’s forecast of robust growth, necessitating a steady stream of skilled workers.

Skills Gap and Solutions

The report identifies a potential shortfall of 3,000 biopharma graduates annually compared to industry needs. To address this gap, Minister Burke emphasizes the need for a multi-pronged approach. This includes:

  • Education System Response: Educational institutions must adapt to meet industry demands by offering relevant courses and ensuring sufficient capacity.
  • Upskilling the Workforce: Existing biopharma employees should be provided with opportunities to enhance their skillsets.
  • Attracting International Talent: Ireland should actively seek qualified biopharma professionals from overseas.

Implementation and Specific Skills Needs

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has established an implementation group led by Patricia Quane, former Astellas Pharma executive. Beyond overall staffing growth, the report identifies specific skillset requirements arising from:

  • Technological advancements in manufacturing
  • Digitalization of processes
  • Innovation and R&D activities
  • Quality control and regulatory roles

Our report stresses the importance of collaboration between educational institutions and the biopharma industry to ensure an adequate supply of skilled workers. This presents a significant opportunity for the sector’s continued growth in Ireland.

Posted May 2024.

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