DIT programme to help unemployed reskill for a career in the booming biopharma sector

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29 October, 2009

In response to the identified need for up-skilling in the Bio-Pharmaceutical and related Life Sciences industries, DIT together with its industry partner, DPS Engineering, recently launched an innovative and cost effective way for retraining those recently unemployed for a new career in the (Bio)Pharmaceutical industry.

The aim of the class is to empower, enable and connect students with lecturers in global centres of excellence around the world using Internet technology. Students connect and meet live in a virtual classroom for an online interactive class that is delivered by (Bio)Pharmaceutical industry specialists from DPS in Ireland and in Singapore. It has been designed to provide participants with a stimulating, positive and enjoyable environment along with the opportunity to broaden and enhance employment prospects.

This innovative approach to learning and teaching, through the use of information and communications technologies, is being piloted on a programme that is being funded by the HEA as part of the government Labour Market Activation programme to up-skill the unemployed in key sectors of the economy in line with National Strategy.

Already one of the biggest employers in Ireland, the biopharma sector is primed for further expansion, due in part to the significant R&D investment the sector has received in recent years. Indeed, pharmaceutical net exports exceeded €16.7 billion in 2008, making Ireland the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world.

Dr Declan McCormack, Head of the School of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences, DIT said ‘As part of DIT’s initiative to retrain and upskill the labour force, this programme has been developed to provide unemployed workers with the skills necessary to pursue new career opportunities in Irelands growing (Bio)Pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. These areas have been identified as sectors of the economy considered key to tackling the recession and driving economic growth”.

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