GSK Cork announce new Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme


  • Three year programme offers school leavers a unique path to a chemistry based qualification while working alongside leading global talent
  • Deadline for applications is 31 August

GSK in Cork today announced the launch of a new Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme. The site, which has 450 employees, will be the first of the global healthcare company’s Irish manufacturing sites to offer an apprenticeship in this area, which is a new discipline for the company.

GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, employs 1,800 people across four locations in Ireland – Dungarvan, Cork, Sligo and Dublin. The company is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.

In operation since 1975, GSK’s manufacturing facility in Cork produces the active ingredients for nine of GSK’s medicines, including treatments for cancer, depression and Parkinson’s disease. A highly skilled workforce at GSK is essential to the future of the site as a world class facility and initiatives such as the Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme aim to ensure a consistent pipeline of future talent for the operation.

Improving the quality of pharmaceuticals and ensuring that they are manufactured to the highest standard of compliance at all levels is vital. As a Pharmaceutical Technical apprentice, the successful candidate will gain a strong understanding of a broad range of pharmaceutical equipment and processes as well as an understanding of their potential impact on product, quality and patient safety.

Successful applicants will work alongside some of the industry’s leading technicians, learning and the skills and techniques that will help ensure that GSK products, processes and equipment are world class standard.

The Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship is a three-year programme, leading towards a foundation degree in Applied Chemical Science Technology from Kent University, UK. As well as earning an internationally recognised qualification, participants will gain valuable on-the-job experience, a competitive base salary and access to GSK’s benefit scheme.

The recruitment in Cork is part of a wider GSK apprentice programme across its global manufacturing sites where it plans to recruit 80 apprentices in 2016. GSK Cork currently has 12 Engineering Apprentices, and this is the first time it will offer a non-craft apprenticeship. Online applications are now being accepted at: for the Cork-based opportunity, until 31 August 2016.

Launching the new programme, Joanne O’Flaherty, Head of Validation in Primary Global Manufacturing and Supply, at GSK said: “I’m delighted that Cork is the first Irish GSK site to offer the Pharmaceutical Technical Apprenticeship. As a global manufacturing site, it’s important that we have a strong pipeline of talent to play a key role in helping the company produce medicines, serving millions of patients around the world.”

Outlining the future career that the GSK Pharmaceutical Technical apprentice could look forward to, Joanne added: “The new programme is part of GSK’s continued commitment to building capability and developing careers within the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. Our new apprenticeship programme is an exciting and unique opportunity to be part of an important area of our business. GSK has now invested over €700m in the Cork site since its inception in 1974 and initiatives such as the Pharmaceutical Technical apprenticeship programme further illustrate GSK’s commitment to the region. The programme offers successful applicants a significant opportunity to work with one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and progress their career while also earning a recognised qualification.”

Fergus O’Brien, Talent Acquisition Manager, GSK Ireland said “As well as studying towards a qualification, apprentices will gain valuable on-the-job experience alongside the industry’s leading talent as well as a competitive base salary.  The GSK apprenticeship programme is part of GSK’s overall Early Talent programme which includes a number of additional programmes such as internships, student placements and graduate, post grad and ‘Future Leader’ programmes.

For more information or to apply online, see: