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Pharma companies clean up at 2021 Employer of the Year awards

13 Dec 2021

Three large Irish employers in the pharma sector, Pfizer, Takeda Ireland and BioMarin have been awarded Employer of the Year 2021.

Three of Ireland’s largest pharma employers have been named 2021 Employer of the Year by Generation Apprenticeship.

Pfizer Ireland, BioMarin International and Takeda Ireland won best employer in the competition’s large business category. The results were announced today (13 December) by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD.

There were three categories in which companies could win awards. These were large businesses with 250 or more staff, as well as SMEs with less than 250 staff and small businesses with nine or more staff.

Pfizer, BioMarin and Takeda Ireland saw off competition from 21 other companies in their category to win best large business employer. In total, there were 71 nominees from all over Ireland. Nominees in the three categories included employers from the engineering, hospitality, beauty and property sectors.

Congratulating the winners, Harris said each had been recognised for “their ongoing investment in Ireland’s talent and skills”.

He thanked the winning companies for “their outstanding leadership” as well as their “continuing support” for the Government’s apprenticeship programme.

Dr Mary-Liz Trant, executive director of Solas, the State’s agency tasked with building Ireland’s further education and training sector, echoed Harris’s congratulations. “These awards capture a remarkable story of resilience and leadership and provide us with inspiring examples of innovation and courage in the face of global pandemic,” she said.

“There are now over 8,000 employers in Ireland using apprenticeships as part of their talent pipeline,” Trant added. “Despite operational challenges, these companies have taken on more than 7,500 apprentices this year, in diverse sectors including insurance, construction, sales, medical technologies, ICT and engineering.”

Earlier this year, Pfizer confirmed that the Covid-19 vaccine would be manufactured in Ireland at its site in Grange Castle, Dublin. The boost created 75 new jobs in the area.

Takeda Ireland also announced that it was creating jobs at its Grange Castle site in February. The company said it would add 100 new jobs over the next three years.

BioMarin, Pfizer and Takeda Ireland were all involved in November’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) virtual event aimed at graduates looking for careers in biopharma.

“As we work to emerge from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vital that we continue to recognise the important contribution of apprenticeship opportunities in Ireland and to celebrate the employers, education providers and, of course, our wonderful apprentices themselves,” Trant concluded.

Harris said that the “breadth and diversity” of employers being awarded showed “the far-reaching potential” of the Government’s apprenticeship programme. He added that apprenticeship networks were “a key priority” for himself and his Government colleagues and that they would continue to expand nationally.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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