New MTPConnect report highlights skill gaps

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MTPConnect has released the second of three reports examining skills gaps in the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector workforce.

The reports are being developed as part of the Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative.

MTPConnect is delivering the $32 million initiative on behalf of the Medical Research Future Fund. The plan has three pillars that involve working with stakeholders from research, training and industry to influence skills development, workforce training and integration between research, industry and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

MTPConnect managing director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said the new research has identified 20 priority skills gaps.

“The MTP sector is already Australia’s 8th largest export sector and a major contributor to the Australian economy, but we need to understand where the skills gaps are so we can build the workforce that will power the next wave of innovation and growth,” said Dr Grant.

“In a time of rapid change, advancements in areas such as precision medicine, digital health solutions and regenerative medicine supported by advanced manufacturing technologies present exciting growth opportunities - if we can develop a future-ready workforce.

“Our report - Driving skills development and workforce training for the future MTP workforce - identifies the priority gaps and helps ensure workforce skills are aligned to the current and future needs of the sector.

“The 20 priority skills gaps identified span seven key themes – advanced manufacturing and supply chain, business operations, clinical trials, health data and cybersecurity, health economics and regulatory affairs, product development and commercialisation and specialist and technical skills.

“In order for Australia’s MTP sector to continue its strong growth trajectory, the workforce will need to retain and evolve skills in current areas of competitive advantage, while also developing new skills that are aligned with these emerging areas.”

The first of the three commissioned reports was published late last year. The interim report was prepared with L.E.K. Consulting and involved engagement with more than 200 stakeholders from across the MTP sector.

It has also incorporated the findings of the workforce skills and capacity review undertaken by MTPConnect in July 2020 and analysis of MTP sector jobs posted from 2017-19 on the SEEK recruitment platform.

MTPConnect has also launched a call for proposals under round two of the REDI Contestable Program.

REDI is calling for proposals for training and education programs, which can be implemented nationally, that meet specific urgent and identified needs. An information session will be held via webinar on 17 March 2021 with submissions open until 9 April.