Job opportunities grow in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors

Monday, 06 August 2018 15:19
Chemical and pharmaceutical companies in Flanders currently have 1,522 open vacancies.
That is almost twice as many vacancies compared to the same period last year. Nearly 40% of vacancies are open to new graduates without any work experience. Yet eight out of ten companies indicate that it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract suitable talent.

Although the sector recruited 3,500 new employees last year, about one in three companies has vacancies that have been unfilled for more than a year. This is reported in the annual Jobbarometer of the federation for chemistry and the life sciences industries, essenscia vlaanderen. The results were presented today at Pfizer in Puurs. This pharmaceutical giant has an average  250 vacancies per year and has recruited 1,000 new employees in the past six years.

The search for talent is a sector-wide challenge, as no fewer than 88% of the companies surveyed are currently recruiting staff. Nearly half of these vacancies (47%) involve new jobs, the other half (53%) are vacancies to replace older employees who have retired. For 37% of the vacancies, no specific work experience is required, which clearly offers opportunities for new graduates.

Frank Beckx, managing director essenscia vlaanderen says, “The need for maintenance technicians, process operators, scientists and engineers is high, but data analysts and young people with specific knowledge of ICT and electronics are also essential. Big data and digitisation also play a key role in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the optimisation and automation of logistics and production processes .”

Arthur Rubinstein
The Brussels Times
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