15 October 2021
MTPConnect today releases the third report in a series developed from a ‘root and branch’ analysis of skills gaps in the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector workforce.
The reports have been developed as part of the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) program, operated by MTPConnect for the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
Building on the first two reports, which identified a range of gaps to be addressed in the next 12-18 months, this new report highlights skills gaps in specific areas that have become more pronounced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said the report explores skills gaps in biosecurity, infectious disease resilience and advanced manufacturing that could inhibit the growth of an industry-ready MTP sector workforce.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented health crisis -- it’s also shown-up critical workforce skills gaps that need to be addressed to support advanced medical products manufacturing and biosecurity capabilities,” Dr Grant said.
“In our new report, we’re talking about the critical skills needed for vaccine manufacturing, including mRNA vaccines, regenerative medicine, infectious disease resilience and medical countermeasures.
“We have a shortage of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-trained staff to meet the expected increase in future demand for the manufacture of advanced medical products, such as mRNA manufacturing.
“Our sector also lacks commercial-scale process design expertise, the skills so important to designing efficient medical product manufacturing processes.
“Early-stage companies often lack awareness of the different skills required at various stages along the development pathway which, if not addressed, can stall development of new medical products.
“We also have a shortage of people with the skills to drive computer-aided drug discovery. It’s these computational, or in-silico, skills that are so critical to early identification of promising drug candidates.
“Taking notice of these gaps and addressing them now will help power the future prosperity of our sector and contribute significantly to higher jobs and economic growth for Australia,” Dr Grant said.
MTPConnect’s three skills gap reports form the foundation of a contestable program supporting new training initiatives targeting identified gaps.
Round Three of the REDI Contestable program opens today (Friday 15 October 2021) calling for qualified organisations to submit programs to address five key skills gaps identified in the reports.
Download the report ‘MTPConnect REDI Initiative Skills Gap Analysis – Positioning the MTP workforce for post pandemic prosperity’ now.
MTPConnect’s REDI program is a four-year, $32 million initiative funded by the MRFF. It is an integrated, three-pillar plan that involves working with partners from research, training and industry to influence skills development, workforce training and integration between research, industry and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.