Skills shortages spark marketing drive at drug firm

11 April 2001
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12 April 2001

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has launched a staff retention and recruitment initiative to overcome severe purchasing skills shortages.

The company's "employer of choice" venture - used last year in other areas including marketing and sales - is being rolled out to its 75-strong UK purchasing department at its head office in Macclesfield and also to staff in Sweden and the US.

AstraZeneca, which has a global turnover of £11.3 billion, has 50 vacancies globally for purchasers with experience of sourcing for a multinational with sites in different countries. But only half have been filled, said Geoff Aldcroft, head of the commercial services department with responsibility for overall procurement.

"Purchasing skills shortages are universal," he said.

The company's "employer of choice" offer includes additional holidays, funding for professional development such as degrees and CIPS qualifications, and a share scheme that gives staff up to £3,000 of shares a year.


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