“Everyone is screaming for talent”

Attracting talent is one of the life science industry’s major future challenges, which was one of the conclusions of the panel discussion that ended the New Horizons in Biologics & Bioprocessing conference on 15 December.

“Everyone is screaming for talent and trained personnel, but it is also clear that the interest in natural science is hardly growingamong the younger generations,” said Ola Tuvesson, Head of Development at Northx Biologics.

He emphasised the importance of getting young people interested in the fascinating world of science at an early stage.

“We need to be present in the schools at an earlier stage and build up an interest in science, and this is very important.”

Marie Svensson, Manager New Technology at Pfizer Sweden, agreed. In Strängnäs, where the company has a large manufacturing facility, annual visits are made to the local university, and students from universities in different parts of the country are also invited.

“We show them around and we also present examples of a typical job they might get as their first job after their education,” she said.

Paresh Vadgama, Fellow Scientist, Product Development at Catalent Biologics, raised another aspect: taking care of what you have.

“Attracting new talent is crucial, but you must not forget further education of the workforce you already have,” he said.

Ossian Saris, Marketing Specialist Europe at Agilent Technologies, emphasised the importance of a good corporate culture that puts employees first.

“Good pay doesn’t hurt either.”

The high demand for staff also has its advantages, concluded Marie Svensson from Pfizer.

“In one way, it is a positive sign that we are crying out for competence, because it means that the industry is growing, and it forces companies to step up and make decisions that attract staff.”

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