BioPharmaChem Ireland Statement on the Government report from the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs for BioPharma

April 26, 2024

BioPharmaChem Ireland, the Ibec group, warmly welcomes the publication of the sector review for skills needs by Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Peter Burke TD. The review has focused on the current and future skills requirements for the BiopharmaChem sector and has outlined 24 key recommendations to support and develop the skills necessary for the sector. It is estimated that there will be an additional 14,000 to 26,000 jobs in the Biopharma sector in Ireland over the next five years.


Speaking about the report, Siobhán Dean, Deputy Director of BiopharmaChem Ireland, said:


"BioPharmaChem Ireland welcomes the publication of the skills report, which represents a crucial moment in ensuring that Ireland is prepared to capitalise on the next phase of growth for the sector and to ensure that we possess the requisite skills to do so. Currently, there are over 85 multinational and indigenous companies active within the sector in Ireland, directly employing around 50,000 highly skilled individuals—a number that has grown by 61% since 2016.

The availability of a highly skilled workforce and a supportive skills ecosystem, combined with factors such as a competitive business environment, has been pivotal in Ireland’s ability to leverage the opportunities presented by the global growth of the Biopharma sector. The BioPharmaChem sector traditionally recruits PhD graduates, allowing Ireland to move up the value chain towards earlier stage development and clinical manufacturing. We believe that more investment is required in Higher Education Institutes and life science research centres to ensure a robust talent pipeline of skilled graduates at both degree and doctoral levels.

Accessing the surplus of the National Training Fund to invest in digital skills, green skills, management skills, and transversal employability skills will be critical for building the resilience of the BioPharmaChem sector. The surplus in the NTF presents an opportunity to leverage the growing interest from employers in lifelong learning and to support continued investment in Skillnet, Springboard, Apprenticeships, and upskilling in the industry. Investment is also needed in Higher Education Institutes to support undergraduate education and to facilitate new innovative models of delivery. Additionally, investing in research infrastructure, including state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, is essential for training and research at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

BioPharmaChem is delighted to be able to support the next phase of the report through our participation in the implementation group, which brings together key state bodies, academia, and industry to ensure that the recommendations are effectively implemented”