A new A Level is being taught in Northern Ireland schools this year that could open up opportunities for local students to seek third level study and careers in the £800m per annum local Life and Health Sciences sector.
CCEA’s new A level in Life and Health Sciences has been developed in close collaboration with local employers to support the future workforce needs and is a direct response to the 2015 Matrix sector report which identified a significant skills gap in the life and health sciences sector in Northern Ireland.
Dr Stephen Barr, Managing Director of Almac Sciences in Craigavon said: “It is our hope today’s students will be our future employees and for that reason Almac is happy to support this new GCE specification. We believe it is a step in the right direction in encouraging students to undertake science-related qualifications and opens up a wealth of new career opportunities.”
CCEA Chief Executive, Justin Edwards said, “Life and Health Sciences is an ever growing sector that already accounts for 25% of NorthernIreland’s economic output. The sector generates £800m turnover per year in NI and is growing by 12% annually. Last year’s Matrix Life Science report highlighted the opportunity by stating that “The Life and Health Sciences Sector in Northern Ireland has the opportunity to improve the health of its citizens while providing strong economic growth for the future.
“CCEA has responded quickly to the findings of The 2015 Matrix sector report. It identified a significant skills gap in the life and health sciences sector in NI. We’ve worked with firms such as the Almac Group, Norbrook and Intelesens to ensure that this qualification provides learners with the opportunity to develop skills in this area.”