BioPhramaChem Ireland, the sector expert for the Biopharmaceutical and Chemical Manufacturing Industry, is celebrating 25 years in operation. Since it was established in 1994, the body has promoted Ireland as a prime location for the industry and seen the value of industry exports increase from €6 billion to an incredible €73 billion in 2018. The organisation is now looking to the future of the Biopharmaceutical and Chemical Manufacturing Industry in Ireland.
Furthering its effort to promote Irish interests within the international market, the organisation has set out its five-year strategy, which was launched by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD at government buildings on the 29th of May, 2019. The strategy is entitled "Ireland - the Global BioPharmaChem Location of Choice" and further solidifies the attractive position Ireland boasts to companies within the industry which are looking to expand their operations internationally. The strategy encourages building upon the growth and success the industry has seen over the last 25 years and highlighting Ireland as an ideal location for BioPharmaChem companies.
Employment has risen steadily in the industry over the last decade and a half; initially, 18,000 workers fuelled the industry, whereas now the number stands at 30,000. Additionally, Ireland is home to the ten leading BioPharma companies in the world. Speaking at the strategy announcement, Minister Humphreys expressed her enthusiasm to "maintain and grow Ireland's position as a global leader in BioPharma manufacturing." Matt Moran, Director of BioPharmaChem Ireland, attributed the industry's growth to "a campaign to encourage the Government to focus on biotechnology in the mid-1990s", one which he says has now "paid its dividends". BioPharmaChem Ireland Chair Patricia Quane, VP and General Manager, Astrellas Ireland, expressed the organisation's pride in the impressive international reputation they have helped to build for the country in the industry.
The talented workforce who are essential in ensuring the industry's success were applauded for their contribution to the phenomenal growth for BioPharma in Ireland. BioPharmaChem Ireland is invested in furthering the opportunities and facilitating the development of industry professionals, which is particularly evident in their recently-launched laboratory apprenticeship programmes. The two "earn and learn" programmes include a Level 7 Laboratory Analyst Apprenticeship which last three years, and a Level 6 Laboratory Technician Apprenticeship which can be completed in two years. Both apprenticeships were designed to provide vocational routes into the BioPharmaChem industry and will bridge skills gaps that were identified in the sector. As the industry in experiencing such rapid growth, those who are interested in a career in BioPharmaChem should definitely consider the apprenticeship route, as it is a great way to build up industry experience and amass an essential skillset, all while earning an apprenticeship salary as you progress through the programme.