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Businesses in Scotland’s Life and Chemical Sciences sector are being offered help to develop talent through a new online portal.

The Life & Chemical Sciences Workforce Development Portal is being launched today (26 November) by Ivan McKee MSP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, at the Life Sciences Scotsman Conference in Edinburgh.

The portal is the result of a partnership involving Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Scottish Development International and has been co-designed by employers. 

It helps employers explore training and learning options for their current and future workforce, and is aimed not only at businesses based in Scotland but those looking to invest here.

Dave Tudor, co-chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Group, said: “The Life and Chemical Science sector aims to achieve a £8billion turnover by 2025. To make this a reality, businesses looking to invest in Scotland, and those here already based here, need to have access to a detailed picture on the workforce and the breadth & depth of the learning opportunities available. 

“The Workforce Development Portal gives businesses up-to-date information, but in an accessible way.  It has been designed by industry for industry – offering a real step-change in the support for the sector.”   

Using the portal, employers can identify the range of learning pathways available – from the apprenticeship family, through to Degree level and upskilling. 

Ronnie Palin, Key Sector Manger, Life Sciences at Skills Development Scotland, said: “It’s projected that there will be 2,100 job openings in the sector by 2029 – and solutions to meeting the future skills needs of the sector must be industry-led.  That’s why employers have been so closely involved in the design of this new resource.

“We understand that flexibility and access to the right information is key.  Therefore, the portal has a range of options, including searching by occupation, or location, as well as the function to compare course levels globally.   

“Whether it is foreign investment, or for Scottish-based companies, we want to make sure employers are as informed as possible on the range of learning pathways - such as apprenticeships and other examples of work-based learning.” 

The Life and Chemical Sciences Workforce Development Portal is hosted by the Scottish Industry Directories platform, where you can also access the Life and Chemical Sciences Scottish Directory and the Scottish Health Research and Innovation Ecosystem.

David Smith, Director of National Opportunities at Scottish Enterprise said: “Workforce development is key to the life sciences sector achieving its full potential. Alongside our partners, we’re proud to have a role in the creation of this new resource to help companies identify and access workforce development pathways.

“I’d encourage every life and chemical sciences company, in Scotland and overseas, to visit the portal and see how it could help develop talent to drive business growth.”

Fraser Brown, Head of Chemistry at Ingenza, said: “The Workforce Development Portal offers employers such as Ingenza an invaluable source of information on Scotland’s skills landscape. Its flexible, in-depth and easy-to-use approach, means that companies in the Life and Chemical Sciences sector both here and globally can make informed choices on upskilling and reskilling its workforce in Scotland.”

Further information

Visit the Workforce Development Portal to find out more. 

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