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Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Patrick O’Donovan TD, has launched the Irish Medtech Skillnet’s Future Skills report for the Medtech sector at a special event in Thomond Park, Limerick.

The report from Irish Medtech Skillnet, titled: Talent to Thrive: Future Skills for Ireland’s Medtech Sector 2024-2028, highlights that the sector’s workforce is expected to grow at a rate of 3% annually in the next four years, with 56,000 workers expected to be directly employed by 2028.

The study found that the most urgent skills required by the Medtech sector include Digitisation, Data Analytics, and Automation. The industry reported Transversal skills are also in high demand, with a growing need for problem solving and leadership skills.

As highlighted in the report, the Irish Medtech Skillnet plays a crucial upskilling role for the Medtech sector in Ireland. Irish Medtech Skillnet is leading the way to develop new and innovative programmes which meet the demands of the Medtech sector and to ensure that Ireland remains ahead of the curve and continues to attract inward investment.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister O’Donovan said: “I would like to congratulate Irish Medtech Skillnet, Skillnet Ireland and Irish Medtech on the publication of this significant piece of research. This report confirms that the Medtech sector is one of Ireland’s key industries and outlines what we need to do to support the sector’s skill needs in the future. Having the right skills is crucial and this report underscores that the most pressing skills required by the sector are influenced by significant economic trends. I am committed to implementing initiatives and collaborating with educational institutions and industry leaders to ensure our workforce is well equipped to meet the future industry needs”.

Paul Healy, Chief Executive, Skillnet Ireland, said, "This is a significant research undertaking for a sector that is vital to employment, exports and regional investment. The report paints a comprehensive picture of the current and future talent profile of the Irish Medtech sector and is based on a deep industry analysis that encompasses digitalisation, data analytics, and automation as well as skills for sustainability and climate action. We see demand for these skill types increasing in Medtech and across other industry sectors too. Through our 70 Skillnet Ireland Business Networks and National Initiatives, Skillnet Ireland is dedicated to bringing leading-edge and innovative upskilling programmes to advance talent in these critical areas.”  

Dr Eoghan Ó Faoláin, Director, Irish Medtech, said: “As the international landscape of the Medtech industry continues to shift and evolve, Ireland’s must remain adaptable. This comprehensive review of the skills landscape spans, Research, Development, and Innovation (RD&I), manufacturing, regulatory affairs, sustainability, and human resources, to help chart strategy for the future. Of these the fastest growth predicted is in RD&I at 7% annually, highlighting the need to equip this growing workforce as our global Medtech hub moves up the value chain to compete internationally.”
Dr Ann O’Connell, Network Manager, Irish Medtech Skillnet, said: "This report, developed through extensive stakeholder consultations and industry workshops, aims to identify the skill requirements of Ireland’s Medtech sector through 2028. As the Irish Medtech sector continues to grow and evolve, our skill sets must adapt. The report insights will guide the creation of industry-directed training programmes to address skills gaps. The research supports Skillnet Ireland’s mission to drive business excellence through innovative and enterprise-driven people development.”

Padhraic McGinn, Irish Medtech Chair and CEO of Mergon Group, said: “As we plan for the future, Ireland like other international hubs is seeing macro-trends, such as accelerated digitalisation, automation and artificial intelligence. We’re also seeing changing ways of working, and a growing focus towards sustainability, which will impact not only on how the sector operates, but also how we develop talent. As a business leader, it’s worth noting that in terms of transversal skills, problem solving, leadership, and project management, are in the highest demand as business enablers.”

The recommendations outlined in the report include:

  • Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I): Embrace smart technology, scale the industrial PhD, embed sustainable design thinking into RD&I, improve technical training in materials, and grow critical thinking skills. 
  • Manufacturing: Evolve with advanced manufacturing through digitalisation and advanced data analytics skills, while also integrating immersive technology such as virtual reality to provide training for operators with minimal impact on production time. 
  • Regulatory affairs: Adapt for new areas such as smart devices and the AI Act, understand rapidly rising markets such as India and China, as well as empower regulatory affairs to make an organisational impact by expanding skills to include areas such as project management and data analytics.  
  • Human resources (HR): Adopt digital tools to support efficiency gains, broaden transversal skills in key areas such as problem solving and commercial acumen, as well as repurpose content delivered across other units in shorter more flexible formats for HR. 
  • Sustainability: Deliver organisation-wide training across all employees to build a broad understanding of sustainability concepts, supported by targeted technical training for key personnel in areas such as CSRD reporting requirements, as well as empower employees to make data-led decisions by combining digital skills with an environmental, social, and governance mindset. 


The full Talent to Thrive: Future Skills for Ireland’s Medtech Sector 2024-2028 report is available to view, here.

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