Career portal targets life science and biotechnology

06 March 2006

Finding a job in the life science and biotechnology sector can be quite a challenge, which is the reasoning behind the newly launched online BioCareers portal that seeks to match up job seekers and employers.

Biocareers is the official South African speciality job board and career centre for the South African life science industry. With easy-to-use tools, the site will help people in the sector find a job or become more aware of possible career opportunities.

The portal is a joint initiative of Human Alliance, a human resources and recruitment company, and the Cape Biotech Trust, a biotechnology development initiative and funding body set up by the Department of Science and Technology.

Managing director Dr Mark Fyvie explains the rationale: "Every year hundreds of life science graduates face the same dilemma. Having just qualified, they realise there is no dedicated medium to help them find appropriate jobs and career guidance within South Africa. Even life scientists who are already established within the field face the same problems.

"This is one of the key obstacles to developing a strong life science sector, and tends to result in the loss of some highly skilled people from the market. Job seekers do not know where to find the right employment information. Sometimes it is easier to find work overseas or in alternative industries needing scientific skills."

This brain drain is problematic for life science companies, who already find it difficult to source and retain the right people to remain globally competitive in the growing life science and biotechnology industries.

According to Human Alliance MD Kevin Alborough, the IT technology behind the portal is completely novel to South Africa. The company has created BioCareers in partnership with an American company, HR Smart, which runs a number of high-profile job boards in the US.

Alborough says: "The online job portal has become one of the most effective ways of recruiting staff from around the globe. Online recruitment is cheaper and faster, enabling companies to source and retain the best employees, and job seekers to access the best opportunities in a highly competitive world."

To register on the portal, go to

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