For a second year in a row, SFEE opens its doors to young people through its Business Day event
The aim is to make the young generation aware of the employment opportunities offered by the pharmaceutical industry
Athens, 9 June 2015 – Today, at the auditorium of Janssen-Cilag, SFEE held a one-day event, as part of the Business Days programme organised by Professor Iordanis Ladopoulos (Athens University of Economics and Business). SFEE’s Business Day brought together distinguished representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and 100 young people (university students, graduates and postgraduates in Pharmacy, Medicine, Economics/Business and Technology), in a tour to the world of innovation and to the employment and business trends and prospects of the sector.
For a second year in a row, attracting growing interest and participation, the SFEE Business Day acts as a laboratory linking the academia with the business world. In this context and in the belief that the pharmaceutical sector can be a key driver of Greece’s economic recovery, particularly by investing in young talents across a large scope of specialties and jobs, SFEE and its member companies opened their doors once again this year. Several pharmaceutical companies invest in the country’s youth, currently hit by unemployment, and offer the possibility of a dynamic professional start in a great workplace, through graduate trainee programmes.
In his opening address, the President of SFEE, Mr. Pascal Apostolides, welcomed the participants and told them, among other things: “I know very well how anxious you are to find a job that matches your education. The pharmaceutical industry needs a range of crucial disciplines, but more importantly needs a qualified workforce; as the industry achieves growth, it creates more and more new jobs and invests in the professional development of its staff through continuing education programmes. In fact, according to the Statistical Classification of Occupations, the production of medicines involves 31 distinct specialties/occupations. I would strongly urge you, especially in the current adverse circumstances, to seize the opportunity and select from among the numerous graduate trainee programmes and internships offered by many companies in our industry”.
The distinguished speakers, executives and other high-level staff of pharmaceutical companies, focused on a variety of topics: sharing their own career success stories or discussing internship opportunities, the philosophy and manner of working of big players in the sector, business models that are gaining ground, or business and employment prospects in the pharmaceutical sector, they all highlighted the huge growth potential of the sector and invited young graduates from various educational backgrounds to give a serious thought to a career in the health sector, while at the same time they offered practical advice for a successful career.
The pharmaceutical industry is a highly labour-intensive sector, which is nourished, developed and sustained by the ideas and ingenuity of its human resources. Due to its constant need for combinatorial thinking and experimentation, it has a tendency to employ as many people as possible and is always open to collaborations. By relying on science, i.e. the deepening of knowledge, the pharmaceutical industry is an area where human labour is transformed into therapies, into life itself. Furthermore, as pointed out by Mr Apostolides: “Our industry is ‘addicted’ to the constant search for innovation and is a prime example of a sector that has continuing education at its core. At the same time, the companies in the industry employ some of the most brilliant minds from the fields of science and business, whose expertise is an invaluable tool. A significant proportion of these high-skill jobs, e.g. in the academic community or in the emerging field of clinical trials, could prevent the brain drain that our country has been facing.
The Greek pharmaceutical industry accounts for about 13,500 jobs, and the prospects for a substantial rise in this number are very high. A large part of this workforce are scientists, whose number will multiply if they can be linked to production. The expansion of investment in research and development, especially in the field of clinical trials, is a driving force for higher employment and therefore features high on the agenda of SFEE and its member companies.
Moreover, a significant number of job opportunities are opened up in the production segment, through increased investment by domestic pharmaceutical manufacturers that have been recognized worldwide for their reliability. These jobs can be increased further by foreign companies’ indirect investment in production facilities in Greece, as Greek manufacturers have earned the trust of multinationals as outsourcing partners.
“This can become true if the State realises this potential and gives incentives to the pharmaceutical industry, to Greek and multinational companies, incentives that will ultimately benefit all of you in the form of new jobs for you to take up and drive the industry forward with innovative ideas in research but also in the field of business”, stressed the President of SFEE.
In a special address, Ms Gerty Phili, Partner & Leadership Coach, Sargia Partners, pointed out that the companies in the industry stand out for their “high-standard working environment”, noting that: “Management is the determining factor that makes the difference. How managers behave and how they deal with various situations in day-to-day business plays a crucial role in the performance of individuals and teams working under them. What has particularly impressed us in Sargia from our contact with companies in the sector is the endless search for more and more innovative approaches to staff relations, in an aim to constantly improve the workplace, as well as to ensure the staff’s professional development”.
Mr Michalis Stangos, Co-Founder of ID-GC, an organization actively working to promote entrepreneurship and link research to the market, among other things took stock of ID-GC’s activity over the past two years, providing some figures: “… we have offered to young people more than 120 hours of free education on entrepreneurship through training courses, workshops and other activities and through five entrepreneurship competitions; we have given the opportunity to 200 potential entrepreneurs to present their ideas in front of a live audience of businessmen, investors and industry people, and we have also supported startups with private funds totaling €2,000,000; we have done all this through our numerous educational initiatives, competitions and events”.
The event featured CEOs and senior staff from SFEE member companies as speakers, specifically: Mr Stavros Theodorakis, Managing Director, Chiesi Hellas; Mr Nikos Kefalas, Managing Director, Janssen-Cilag; Mr Konstantinos Kofinas, Managing Director for Greece & Cyprus, Merck; Mr Konstantinos Panagoulias, Vice President, VIANEX; Mr Giorgos Papazoglou, Director General, Pharmex; Mr Spyros Filiotis, Vice-President and General Director, Pharmaserve-Lilly; Mr Manolis Alexandrakis, Assoc. Director Policy & Communications, External Affairs Department, MSD; Ms Afroditi Galani, HR Business Partner, Janssen-Cilag; Ms Venia Giegiou, Human Resources Manager, Janssen-Cilag; Ms Ioanna Karamanli, Communications Officer, Roche; Mr Christos Martakos, Corporate Affairs Manager, Pharmaserve – Lilly; Mr Manolis Mitakis, Head of Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim; Ms Marianna Bessi, HR Management Trainee, Roche; Mr Dimitris Papageorgiou, Commercial Head, Takeda; Mr Giorgos Papaioannou, Communication Manager, AbbVie; Ms Afroditi Siokou, HR International SEE Group Leader & country Head Greece & HR Generalist Greece, Merck; Mr Ioannis Skeparnias, Business Development Manager, Genesis; Ms Maria Spanopoulou, External Communication & PR Specialist, Merck; Ms Effie Stavropoulou, Human Resources Head, MCO Balkans, Takeda; Ms Mary Tsangaraki, HR Business Partner, Roche; Ms Anastasia Tsamakli, HR & Administration Manager, Novo Nordisk; Mr Christos Christidis, Corporate HR Manager, VIANEX.
SFEE’s Business Day is part of the Association’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme.