MTPConnect releases first of three reports on skill gaps

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MTPConnect has released the first of three reports as part of what it calls a ‘root and branch’ analysis of skill gaps in the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector workforce.

The reports are being developed as part of the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) program, operated by MTPConnect on behalf of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

MTPConnect managing director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said the first report in the series identifies three high priority skills gaps that need urgent attention.

“The medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector is Australia’s 8th largest export sector. With nearly 1,300 companies in the sector and 68,000 jobs, it is a major contributor to the Australian economy - but we have some work to do to create a future ready workforce,” said Dr Grant.

“In partnership with L.E.K. Consulting, we have engaged widely across the sector to identify areas of workforce shortage, strength and competitive advantage and the interim report of our skills gap analysis work highlights three priority skills areas which will help build our capabilities in clinical development, research translation and commercialisation."

The priority areas are understanding of quality management systems and protocols (linked to advanced manufacturing), leadership awareness about the importance and best-practice management of cybersecurity (linked to health data) and strategic clinical trial design to meet regulatory requirements and payer needs (linked to commercialisation).

Dr Grant continued, “As the MTP sector continues to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, it faces the ongoing challenge of developing, attracting and retaining world-class talent and the more we can build industry linkages, company resilience and capabilities in translation, the better placed we’ll be to deliver commercially viable outputs.

“The report we’re releasing today provides a skills development blueprint to help ensure Australia’s MTP workforce is fit for purpose and appropriately positioned to capitalise on current and future global opportunities. But we need to act now to systematically address these gaps in workforce skills.

“This, and the subsequent two reports to be released next year, will form the foundation for a contestable program of new initiatives to fill emerging skills gaps not currently addressed in the sector. This focus is expected to unlock significant value for the MTP sector within the next 12–18 months.”

MTPConnect said round one of the REDI Contestable program opens tomorrow (Friday 13 November 2020) calling for suitably qualified organisations to submit proposals for new training courses/programs. An information session will be held via webinar on 19 November and registrations are open now.