Lean/Six Sigma and Business Skills identifed as key for Pharma Industry

Lean/Six Sigma is a key skill requirement in the Pharma Industry. A new report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EFGSN) on the Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland was launched in Aug 2016  The objective of the study is to review the supply of, and demand for, skills for the Biopharma industry in Ireland up to 2020.

The Biopharma industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in Ireland. In 2015, the sector employed 28,200 people in Ireland and accounted for over €30bn in exports. The sector also creates significant secondary employment in construction and other services while investment in new plant construction is under way.

Given anticipated expansion and replacement demand, it is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings will arise within the Biopharma industry in Ireland over the next five years. There are a several large sized companies within the industry with around 35 companies comprising 85% of employment.

Requirement for Leadership and Management skills

In the study companies cite a lack of “soft skills” among graduates, including teamworking, communications, quality control, problem solving skills. Many students on Biopharma related programmes do not receive structured work place training. It was felt by industry stakeholders that the quality of graduates is variable, especially with respect to interpersonal and “business ready” skills such as team leadership, change management, general management, finance and people management.  Over the next five years, it is anticipated that the industry will create a diverse range of roles requiring business skills and soft skills across NFQ levels 6 and greater.   The development of “soft skills” such as interpersonal, communications and problem solving skills are seen as important for graduates and those in the industry who wish to progress.

Quality Management and Lean/Six Sigma

Quality management plays a key role in ensuring that the production process and products meet stringent manufacturing standards. It is critical at all stages of the scaling up of an operation. The need for skills in Quality Management and Lean/Six Sigma skills were also identified as a key skillset for graduates and those in the industry who wish to progress.

What CMIT can do

CMIT can provide a key upskilling role for Graduates and current employees in the Biopharma sector, providing the opportunity to up-skill, with relevant, accredited skill-based courses, via elearning.