- Katie Riordan | BEng, CEng, MEng, PMP
Having worked in the construction industry for the past 8 years and with the continuing downturn in that sector I knew I would need to take a strategic step in order to remain in long-term employment. I was delighted when the opportunity arose to take part in the DPS (Bio Pharma Medical Device) Conversion Programme. This gave me the chance to learn some of the key skills necessary to work in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries; sectors that were continuously advertising positions.
These industries tend to recruit only those who have prior experience or knowledge in their regulated environments. However, technical knowledge alone would have been insufficient and so having completed the classroom learning my newly acquired knowledge was immediately put into practice during a 12 week placement with Boston Scientific, Cork.
FPPI carefully matched my skills with the needs of Boston Scientific to ensure that both parties were gaining maximum benefit. I was placed into a role that allowed me to utilise my previous industry experience and to develop new skills in the medical devices sector.
FPPI were extremely helpful and supportive throughout this learning period whilst at the same time Boston Scientific offered me sufficient responsibility that challenged my skills and ensured that I quickly adapted to the challenges of this new environment and contributed in a meaningful way.
At the end of the placement period I was offered a full-time position which I accepted and am now developing a new career path in the medical devices sector. Through the success of this Conversion Programme and FPPI’s insight in matching me and my skills with Boston Scientific’s requirements, I have gone from a position where my future was very uncertain to a stage where I now have stability and new aspirations.I cannot express my gratitude enough to Marie and her team at FPPI.
- Pat Barrett | BEng, Dip in PM, MIEI
After being employed in the construction industry for 20 years I found myself unemployed and searching for the best way forward to return to permanent work. Through Engineers Ireland job seeking network and their drive to get engineering professionals back to work I learned that the pharma/medical device sectors were constantly seeking trained people. I committed to this cause and eventually through the governments Springboard jobs initiative got a place on the DPS (Bio Pharma Medical Device) Conversion Programme. The syllabus content is industry led in conjunction with Life Sciences Skillsnet, IBEC, and IMDA with support also provided by Engineers Ireland and FPPI. The programme was developed in Singapore to retrain educated professionals for entry into their pharmaceutical industries.
These industries are highly regulated and as such require suitably trained personnel. The course content is industry tailored to provide sufficient technical knowledge for entry into these sectors. However, there was a need for industry experience to compliment the conversion course and finish the trainee to a standard suitable for employment. I secured a 9 month Internship as a test development assistant with Integra LifeSciences in Tullamore, County Offaly.FPPI carefully assessed my skills and experience and guided me in the direction of suitable companies and useful websites. They further directed me to Jobbridge where positions were being advertised and subsequent to my applications followed up with enquiries promoting me for employment by highlighting my skills with their requirements. It was through this process that I obtained the highly valuable role that will now provide industry experience to develop new skills in the medical devices sector.
FPPI were extremely helpful, prompt, understanding and supportive throughout the process. They provided advice at each step and also encouragement in the face of what is now a difficult job seeking market. Integra LifeSciences are a leading worldwide player in specialised medical devices and they have identified a range of skills for development and training during my Internship to provide experience to meet the challenges of the medical devices manufacturing environment.
I firmly believe that this process with lead to a new career path in the medical devices sector. Through the success of this Conversion Programme and FPPI’s professionalism and drive for success I have gone from a position where my future was very uncertain to a stage where I now have worth again and new aspirations. The introduction of FPPI into the conversion programme was a milestone that coupled the course with professionals who worked in the job placement market.
- Louise Dineen | Beng, NCEA Dip Eng, NCEA Cert, CEng, MIEI
I am Chartered Civil Engineer with over fourteen years experience in consulting engineering. After being made redundant over two and a half years ago, I found that there were no employment opportunities in the civil engineering sector even though I was eager to return to work.
After receiving an email through Engineers Ireland about the e-pharmachem upskilling course I applied for the course and commenced last September 2011. I found the course, which is run by DPS and DIT excellent and really interesting. It is very well delivered through weekly webinar tutorials and e-lectures which entail self assessments at the end of each week. Apart from a one day laboratory practical run in the DIT. The opportunity of being able to do the course from home and particularly during a timeframe that suited me was practical and very doable.
During the course there was a one day coaching session on interview and cv preparation run by FPPI. I found the FPPI team very enthusiastic and encouraging and also responsible in steering me in the right direction to return to the workforce. Their dedication to help me to secure a placement was over and above their call and I am for ever grateful.
With the help of FPPI I have just completed my first week of a 9 month internship as a trainee process chemical engineer with a large multi-national pharmaceutical company in Co Clare. This placement I have no doubt will give me the invaluable experience required to advance in this new sector.
- Dave Fitzsimons | BEng
Having served my time as a Fitter Turner many years ago I then branched out into Aviation. For nearly 20 years I worked in aviation in Dublin so when I found out it was closing down it was a shock. This was not something that I was prepared for and neither was anyone else. As you can tell the Aviation Industry is a very highly skilled specialist Industry. There are not many if any opportunities to get a new job in that Industry unless you are prepared to travel and live in a suitcase. This was not my Idea of a job that I could like or enjoy.
So when I was let go I returned to college to get a Degree in Mechatronics, which I did achieve. It was while i was in College and coming to the end of college that FPPI and DPS Engineering appeared on the scene to try and help anyone In SR Technics that wanted to up skill into an also very highly regulated Industry ,the Pharmaceutical Industry just like the Aviation Industry is. The course they were prescribing was called E-BioPharmaChem, which was a conversion course into the Pharmaceutical Industry. They also provided us with a short course on job searching and hunting in the modern world.
As I write this I am almost finished the course but more importantly I have already started a 9 month Internship with an engineering company (Renishaw Ltd) which suited my talents and skills down to the ground. So along with my trade background and now the Degree, FPPI exhausted all avenues to find the right position for me and as far as I am concerned went above and beyond what was asked of them to help me secure this position that I now have. Already I have a lot to be thankful to them for and cannot thank them enough for what they have done, so thank you FPPI.
I am delighted to say that this week, Renishaw have made my position permanent and I can honestly say that this would never have happened without the support and advice of both FPPI and DPS Engineering.
- Colin Clarke | BEng
I am a qualified Engineer with little working experience in an engineering role. Having travelled when I finished my degree I came home hoping to gain an engineering role related to my qualifications. Having worked with a Pharmaceutical manufacturer as a summer job I developed an interest in the industry. Also it seemed to be the industry that was advertising most positions so I began to look at roles within the pharmaceutical industry that might suit my qualifications. With the current economic climate along with my lack of work experience I am finding it hard to gain employment in the industry. I decided I needed to look at educating myself further to gain employment in the industry so I am currently studying the DPS / DIT BioPharmaChem course. This course is invaluable in its content and support to help me to transfer my skills into industry.
One of the many pluses of this course is that it put me in contact with FPPI. Having applied for many positions for well over a year and getting little or no response from companies, I have found FPPI very helpful in this regard. FPPI have been in touch with companies on my behalf to try and match my skills with a company’s needs. Due to FPPI’s input I have been invited to three different companies for interviews within in the last two months, one of which I am still pursuing hoping to gain a placement in. The company is also in my local area.
Thanks to FPPI they have put me in touch with the relevant person in Pharmaceutical companies close to where I live and I have been invited to meet with three different companies, which is further than I had been getting with these companies for the last year or more. I am now much more hopeful of gaining a position which matches my qualifications and ambitions.