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The Challenge: Enhancing Pfizer’s workforce expertise in Global Business Services 

Pfizer is one of Ireland's leading employers and the largest pharmaceutical sector investor nationwide.  Pfizer has five operating sites across Ireland. The company’s Global Business Services (GBS) operation is based in Ringsend, Dublin, and it employs 400 people. In the dynamic landscape of GBS, staying ahead of the curve requires not only operational excellence but also a skilled workforce capable of driving innovation and efficiency. Pfizer Dublin sought to address the challenge of upskilling its workforce while demonstrating their existing sophistication and leadership in the field of GBS.  

Ireland has become a key player in the international GBS industry, observed David Fitzgerald, Programme Lead, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet: “Ireland became recognised as a centre of excellence for GBS in recent years. As a result of this, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet developed a customised learning pathway for the GBS sector to provide sector-relevant skills, to assist GBS organisations to meet their specific business needs and to develop a talent pool for the future.”  

The Masters in Global Business Services (GBS) allowed us to offer our colleagues a formal qualification in this space. The area of GBS is competitive, we have to constantly evolve and develop to move up the knowledge curve.

Padraic O'Neill, Vice President of Global Business Services, Pfizer

Company Background

Pfizer is one of Ireland's leading employers and the largest pharmaceutical sector investor and employer. Pfizer was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to locate to Ireland and has operated here since 1969. Pfizer has five operating sites in Ireland and their Global Business Services (GBS) operation is based in Ringsend, Dublin, and employs 400 people. 

Company Background

The Solution: Partnering with industry and higher education institutes to develop Ireland's only Masters Degree in GBS

A collaboration between, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, Pfizer, Skillnet Ireland, Technology Ireland and TU Dublin led to the development of Ireland’s only Masters in Science, in GBS, explained Assumpta Harvey, Head of Global Business, TU Dublin: “This programme, it’s the only Masters in Global Business Services which targets that industry, at that level. So, developing future leaders, that’s one of the key things. The fact that it was led by an industry need and that industry has been involved in the development of it, in the content of it, in ensuring that the delivery met their need, has ensured that it has stayed close to industry and very applied in its delivery.” 

The Outcome: Securing a pipeline of future leaders and recognition of Pfizer’s world-class expertise 

Sinead Keogh, Order to Cash Senior Manager, Pfizer, Dublin, was part of the first cohort to participate in the programme in 2018. Sinead said she was looking for a programme that was relevant to her work in the GBS space with Pfizer, and the newly developed Master's programme ticked all the boxes. 

“What it has done, it has made me understand strategic decisions better, it has opened my mind up and it has contributed to where I am today in my company,” Sinead said. 

The programme has been hugely beneficial for Pfizer explained, Padraic O’Neill, Vice President of Global Business Services, Pfizer, Dublin. Since launching, Padraic said the programme has allowed Pfizer Dublin to offer colleagues a formal qualification in the GBS space, but also from an international perspective, demonstrate that there’s a level of sophistication on site that is not available anywhere else in the world. He said the development, critically the delivery of the programme, was made possible through the collaboration with Technology ICT Skillnet and other partners. 

“The Global Business Services sector in Ireland continues to become more important and sophisticated over the last few years. Going into the future the opportunities are huge in this space. It’s been a really strong partnership. A lot of the support that Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet have offered, has been in those first years of trying to launch a programme, get it off the ground and get it to a point where it’s sustainable. I think without Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, we would have really struggled,” Padraic added. 

Learn more about the Masters in GBS programme with Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet.  

About The Network

About The Network

Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet supports businesses of all sizes in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. The network’s mission is to further Ireland’s position as a global technology hub through the delivery of cutting-edge upskilling solutions and talent development initiatives.

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  • Tel: 01 469 3754

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