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The Booming Irish Life Sciences Sector - Challenges and Opportunities​

The Irish life sciences sector has experienced a period of rapid growth, and continued investments from major pharmaceutical companies point to this growth continuing in the future. The rapid expansion is also creating challenges, such as skills shortages and competition for qualified staff.

Competing for qualified staff in a heavily invested sector is challenging. Initial recruitment costs increase, as do ongoing costs to retain staff in the vibrant and cash-rich job market. Many life sciences sector companies are looking to bridge their staff recruitment gaps by training existing employees to step up into new roles and using external consultants to bridge gaps while staff transition to more skilled roles.

The process of transitioning from a paper-based environment to a digital one where instructions, productivity tracking, and delivery take place is known as enabling the connected worker. This approach can dramatically improve productivity and staff well-being.

The Thriving Irish Life Sciences Sector​

Ireland has become a centre for investment in the life sciences sector. This investment has led to rapid expansion in areas such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices. The growth is not only beneficial for the life sciences community but also for the broader Irish economy, creating new jobs and fostering technological innovation.

In 2023, pharmaceutical giants like Eli Lilly, Astellas, and Bristol Myers Squibb announced plans to build new facilities costing multi-million Euros across the country. This investment trend is expected to continue in 2024 and beyond, fuelled by increasing demand for life science products, Ireland’s pro-business environment, its well-educated workforce, and the commitment to innovation shown across public and private sectors.

The Strain on The Talent Pool​

The growing demand for skilled professionals in the life sciences research and manufacturing sectors in areas such as bioscience, digital engineering, data science, and AI machine learning has strained the available talent pool to its maximum. As the introduction mentions, there is significant competition for suitably skilled professionals to fill jobs.

This competition has driven up salaries and other recruitment costs needed to attract and retain skilled staff. This shortage and the inflated costs needed to hire suitable staff (if you can find them!) pose a serious risk to maintaining the momentum of growth and innovation we’ve seen across the sector.

Oleson - Helping to Bridge the Skills Gap​

Oleson is ideally placed to be a key player in helping life sciences manufacturers tackle the skills gap and recruiting challenges by helping streamline digital production processes, providing industry experts to work on BAU processes or new projects, and upskilling existing workforces. Doing these delivers benefits directly to the business, their existing staff, and the broader Irish economy.

Oleson’s can assist life science businesses in the following ways:

Streamlining production processes – Oleson’s automation and data analytics solutions can optimise manufacturing production processes, reducing manual labour, and increasing efficiency. This frees up staff time and resources to focus on other high-value activities.

Upskilling an existing workforce – Oleson’s expert team can work with members of an existing workforce to help train and upskill them with the knowledge needed to operate modern digital manufacturing processes. This knowledge transfer is demonstrably effective when combined with traditional on-the-job learning activities in producing highly skilled team members from within an existing workforce.

Attracting and retaining talent – Oleson’s approach to integrating advanced technologies and training enables companies to keep their workforce at the forefront of industry developments. By offering a more dynamic and engaging work environment, companies are able to retain staff who may get targeted by a competitor. Plus, it makes the workplace more attractive to others when the need to hire externally arises.

Final Thoughts​

We are sure that any life sciences company that partners with Oleson will reap significant benefits, and that our organisations will establish and maintain a long-term partnership that helps you navigate the recruitment and other challenges in the burgeoning Irish life sciences sector.

Please reach out to us today so we can explore how we can work together to put your life sciences business on a firm footing in the turbulent staff and skills market. We understand the challenges in this sector and are committed to bridging any skills gaps you may be experiencing.

Our collaboration with multiple industry giants shows that we are the go-to partner for life sciences manufacturing in Ireland, and we look forward to using our expertise to satisfy your unique needs.

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