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Call for tech giants to back talent crunch initiative

4th April 2022

EIT Health is seeking to partner with industry and tech giants in a Europe-wide initiative to secure new talent and prepare the healthcare sector for the future. We are launching the WorkInHealth Foundation to address fears of a labour shortage in the coming decade and meet the growing demand for a digital and data-driven workforce.

The pandemic has accelerated a shift towards AI and more data-driven and digital-based jobs. More than 120,000 new roles could be created in ten years’ time as an estimated 50 per cent of existing work activities in the pharmaceutical and medical-manufacturing industry become automated.[1] Meanwhile in biomanufacturing, organisations are struggling to recruit bioprocess engineers, automation engineers, and manufacturing science and technology staff.[2]

Yet still only one-third of companies in the pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing sector have launched reskilling efforts with an average investment far lower than the likes of Amazon or AT&T, who are spending as much as 27,000 euros per employee.[3]

The WorkInHealth Foundation will create an AI-powered platform to match skilled talent with healthcare industry roles across Europe. We want to raise two million euros from the tech sector and corporate sponsors to fund campaigns to attract new recruits and upskill or reskill existing talent, as Europe shifts towards digitally-focused healthcare.

We are seeking sponsors from within our existing partner network – which includes companies such as Sanofi and Atos – and from corporate backers outside the health sector, including tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.

Celine Carrera, Director of Education at EIT Health and chairperson of the WorkInHealth Foundation, said, “If Europe is to maintain a vibrant and sustainable healthcare sector that can lead in innovation, we must rise to the challenge of recruiting and educating the best talent.

“It’s clear that there is an urgent need for the industry to attract and retain different forms of talent as well as accelerating, upskilling, and reskilling.

“It’s going to take a collective effort to develop flexible and exciting career paths and find the best talent to fill them, and we are proud to be pioneering a long-term collective solution that can strengthen our approach.”

Upskilling – especially in digital skills and R&D – has been at the core of many national and EU-backed post-pandemic recovery plans.[4] The French Government anticipates 130,000 new jobs will be created by health tech start-ups and scale-ups by 2030.[5]

The key themes of the WorkInHealth Foundation will be to improve the health sector’s image and reputation, to make careers in the industry more attractive, to help organisations better define their needs, and to deliver upskilling and reskilling education and training programmes to professionals and graduates.

Cedric Volanti, VP General Manager, Viral Vector Services EU at Thermo Fisher Scientific said: “In the field of biomanufacturing, there are a lot of vacancies, we are missing a lot of talent and it’s really a source of disruption for the business.

“It’s a crucial hurdle to overcome. And looking forward we must do all we can to ensure we don’t find ourselves in the same situation over the coming years when it comes to digital and data-driven roles in healthcare. We must act now.”

Learn more about the WorkInHealth Foundation and find out how to become a donor.

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