Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT ) hosted its first ever Life Science Career Fair yesterday (Wednesday ) which showcased the collaboration of the biopharma and medtech sector with the Midlands Regional Skills Forum. The event, which was opened by AIT president Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, brought together over 50 companies across the medtech, biopharma and engineering sector who are actively recruiting for positions.
The event saw upwards of 800 prospective candidates matched up with blue-chip companies including Pfizer, Abbive, Bristol Myer-Squibb, Alexion, VistaMed, Mergon, and Trend. The careers fair comes off the back of an impressive week for jobs within the sector, with 775 jobs being announced last week alone in the biopharma space.
Speaking at the opening, Professor Ó Catháin said, “These are very exciting times for the biopharma, medtech, and engineering sector in the Midlands region and indeed Ireland, and I am delighted that this fair addresses the skill needs of the industry and also promotes opportunities in the sector to graduates including our own in AIT. The Midlands is a vibrant and competitive region geared for growth and we can see this with the presence of Midlands-based biopharma companies such as Alexion, PPD, Alkermes, and Abbott and local medtech companies such as Trend, Mergon, Creagh Medical, Venton Medical, and VistaMed present today.
“These industries are making a significant contribution to the Midlands and Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports and it is a testament to our high calibre of graduates in AIT that we have available to fill these roles and indeed our talented workforce in the Midlands. The reputation of Ireland within this sector has been building over time and as an Institute we have invested heavily in ensuring that the future skills need within this growing sector is met, through our graduates in our Faculties of Science and Engineering.
"In AIT we invest in our students' education as well as R&D to serve this market and we will continue to work with our industry stakeholders to ensure this synergy carries on in the exciting growth period ahead for the sector.”
The Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland report which was launched in August 2016 identified that between anticipated expansion and the replacement employment demand arising within the biopharma industry, there will be 8,400 potential job openings in the period up to 2020.