Francis O' Toole Author – Careers Ireland

Students' embarking on their career journey – Is Féidir linn

  • August 2019
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Biological Scientists

Recent data points to shortages of chemists in product development, biologists, medical scientists and nutritionists. At technician level, shortages of laboratory analysts have also been identified. There are a number of factors expected to positively impact on the demand for science skills. The expected strong performance of the high technology manufacturing sector, primarily medical devices and pharmaceuticals; despite the economic crisis, employment in the manufacturing of basic pharmaceutical products (NACE 21) increased by 6,000 between quarter 4 2009 and quarter 4 2010; recent job announcements include those by Optivia Biotechnology and ClearStream Technologies; the plans announced to establish a Global Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence are also likely to result in some job creation in the coming years for scientists in a number of areas including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenomics. Moves towards higher value added activities within the high technology manufacturing sectors; between quarter 4 2009 and quarter 4 2010 alone, the share of operatives in the manufacturing of basic pharmaceutical products (NACE 21) declined by 5 percentage points to 22%, while the share of professionals and technicians (super-operatives) increased by 2 and 3 percentage points respectively. The Government‘s on-going investments in science, technology and innovation (e.g. Science Foundation Ireland and the IDA) are expected to facilitate further job creation in high technology activities such as biotechnology (Bio), ICT, and sustainable energy and energy-efficient technologies; during 2010, the IDA announced a significant number of jobs in research in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and other sectors, to be rolled out over the coming years; by hosting the EuroScience Open Forum, Dublin will be the City of Science 2012 and will facilitate an international dialogue on the latest advances in science and technology, further enhancing Ireland‘s reputation as a scientific hub. Technological advances and the green agenda are expected to drive demand for interdisciplinary teams which bring together science, ICT, engineering and other skills to be deployed in the area of renewable energy, environmental protection, healthcare, bio-convergence etc. The increase in demand for healthcare and healthcare products is also expected to be driven by the aging population, greater expectations and a higher awareness of health issues. (Note: Unless otherwise stated these comments are based on the findings published in the National Skills Bulletin 2011.)

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