The Life Sciences Skillnet is running a six-month internship programme for 25 unemployed engineers, which will retrain them to work in the high-tech medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors.
The candidates come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from civil and mechanical to structural and environmental engineering. They completed eight weeks of highly targeted training for the manufacture of medical device and pharmaceutical products and now start their placements in med-tech companies.
JobBridge will support the candidates, who will receive a Government top-up of €50, in addition to their existing job seeker’s entitlements.
A sector employing 25,000
At a reception marking the start of the programme, director of the Irish Medical Devices Association Sharon Higgins said: “The medical devices sector in Ireland has continued to perform well and employs 25,000 people – the highest number of people per capita in the EU.
“A recent survey revealed that almost 45pc of companies in the sector expect to increase employment numbers by the end of 2011. These internships provide an opportunity to develop the required experience to secure future employment for many of the participants.”
Medtech Engineers Conversion programme manager Pauline O’Flanagan added that many opportunities exist in the medical devices sector for skilled engineers.
“The development of truly enterprise-led conversion programmes to high performing sectors of the Irish economy offer tremendous opportunities for job seekers and employers alike.”