Marie Martin, technical engineering lead, MSD. Image: Connor McKenna
Marie Martin, technical engineering lead, MSD. Image: Connor McKenna

What can be done to improve the biopharma pipeline?

26 Apr 2018

With so many opportunities in the biopharma industry, what can be done to keep the talent pipeline healthy?

One of the biggest challenges facing the biopharma industry right now is recruitment, and ensuring there is a healthy talent pipeline for future jobs.

Future Human

This week, we’ve been examining careers within the biopharma sector, including the roles available for jobseekers, top advice for candidates and how the industry has grown as a whole.

But, with approximately 9,000 jobs expected in Ireland’s biopharma industry by 2020, and further advancements in processes and biologics, it’s no wonder that the sector is suffering from a talent pipeline problem.

On 14 April, NIBRT hosted its annual Careers in Biopharma event, which a variety of the top companies attended to chat to potential candidates.

Speaking to MSD’s technical engineering lead, Marie Martin, we found out what some of the biggest challenges were for biopharma recruiters.

“There’s such a competitive market out there,” she said. “There’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of jobs but there aren’t enough people coming out of the colleges with the specific experience that’s needed and the education needed to support the biotech facilities.”

However, all is not lost as Martin also said there’s a lot of good work being done within the industry to combat the pipeline problem.

“The likes of NIBRT here are collaborating with a lot of the biotech companies to actually structure educational programmes,” she said.

NIBRT enables biotech companies to train its employees in the specific skills they need. It is even expanding to the US, as it recently announced a massive new partnership with Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University to create the Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing, the first and only education and training institute for biopharmaceutical processing in North America.

Martin also said there’s a lot of work being done at a younger level to introduce STEM in schools so that students “understand and know what exciting opportunities are out there”.

At MSD’s own facilities, Martin said the company is looking for candidates for a variety of roles across the biopharma sector.

“We cover everything from engineering, quality, manufacturing and all types of processing and quality regulatories.” She advised those interested in working at MSD to check out the careers site.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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