2015 is shaping up to be another strong year for pharma job opportunities in Irish Life Science sector. The Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA) published their latest sentiment survey representing the medical technology sector in December last year. According to the survey, 94% of companies are confident about their business prospects for 2015, with 4 out of 5 businesses expecting sales to rise over this first quarter of 2015. Half of all survey respondents expect to hire new staff for their med tech company this year which is very positive news.

According to Andrew Vogelaar, the IDA Ireland Head of Medical Technologies Division: “Ireland’s strong multinational and indigenous base of companies is continuing to grow. New investment from the likes of CR Bard, West, NuVasive, Hollister and Ethicon Biosurgery will ensure that Ireland remains the location of choice for a global industry.”

Industry representatives echo his sentiments. PharmaChemical Ireland and the Irish Medical Devices Association both attended the BT Young Scientist Exhibition held last month to encourage students to consider careers in science and engineering. They were joined by representatives from top pharmaceutical companies, like Janssen Pharmaceuticals,  Stryker and Eli Lilly.

Matt Moran, the director for PharmaChemical Ireland, had this to say to the students: “The pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors remain central to the Irish economy, at present over 3 billion euros in new capital is been

[sic] invested by the industry creating new opportunities for our science graduates. Graduates who enter the sector are guaranteed excellent working conditions, high quality training and the chance to travel within global multinational companies. Career options are many and varied – anything from working in laboratory research through to management in operations or marketing.”

The Need for Reskilling / Upskilling

However, despite the thousands of jobs offered in the biopharmaceutical and medical technology sector, a large number of positions remain unfilled (please click here for a list of available job openings in this sector). This is largely said to be a result of a gap between the skills needed by the Biopharmaceutical and Medical Technology sectors, and the skills that most job candidates currently have. In a press briefing, Damien English, the Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation, explains:

“The pharmaceutical, med tech and food sectors have undergone significant change over the past decade,” he said.

“This requires having an agile and flexible workforce whose skills are aligned to these relevant industry sectors which offer strong growth potential and the prospect of long-term sustainable employment.“

Skillsets in high demand include a working knowledge of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) specifically for the biopharma industry, HVAC training, and FMEA training, among others. For most job openings in the Biopharmaceutical and Medical Device Technology sectors, knowledge or certification on these skills are already a basic requirement for getting the job.


The biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industries in Ireland are here to stay. Multi-national companies have invested in new plants and facilities, including Zimmer, who just announced a 51 million euro investment in Galway for 2015, creating 250 new jobs. The outlook is very positive, and jobs are plentiful.

FREE SpringBoard Course

If you are thinking of re-skilling into this sector and would like more information on our eBioPharmaChem course which is FREE for Unemployed in Ireland who qualify under the Springboard Scheme, contact us for details.

Already Working but Still Thinking of Changing Careers?

Feel free to check out our Manufacturing Safe Medicines & Medical Devices (Intro) course which will help you get a start on a career path into the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industry.

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