Production jobs to be hot for next 5 years

In the next 5 years, nearly 60% of new hires for drugmakers will be for production and processing jobs and the folks they will be looking for are not going to be easy to find. One problem is that most of these folks will be trained internally and to get good people companies are going to have to lure them away from each other.

Companies say they need more people with greater scientific background but there are not many more scientists heading toward that career path. The ones who might, because they have lost jobs in research and development, are going to need extensive training.

These are some of the findings of the just released 9th Annual Report and Survey of Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers by Life Science Leader magazine, for which it got responses from more than 300 "global biotherapeutic developers and CMOs."

The survey found that 33% of the positions companies expect to fill this year will be in production operations, while 21.8% will be hired for process development and R&D. Only about 14% will be in research and development, which is a significant drop from 18.5% a year earlier. It appears that is a trend that will continue. Companies say that in 5 years, they expect that nearly 34% of new hires will be in production and operations but only about 23% in process development and research.

Some of the trends can be foreseen in the recent cuts in R&D staff and budgets at big drugmakers, as well as efforts by drugmakers and contract manufacturing organizations to expand in developing markets.

Those answering the survey say they expect it be hard to find the right people, with close to 30% saying that may restrain their ability to expand production globally. The magazine suggests that companies need to build relationships with universities, which can educate a new supply of employees to fill jobs in process improvement and engineering specialties.

- here is the Life Science Leader story

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