Training Director, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT)
A successful biopharmaceutical industry relies heavily on a skilled workforce, and a good training programme is key to developing future talent.
Ireland has had tremendous success in recent years in building a highly-successful biopharmaceutical industry, due largely to its ability to provide complex operations with vital technical talent.
As the biopharmaceutical industry matures, particularly in the area of emerging advanced therapies, Ireland is increasingly being looked at for potential investment opportunities.
Ensuring the industry can continue to hire such talent will be a key determining factor in securing these investments for the country in the future.
The need for training programmes
Despite a perceived lack of talent available to fulfil certain job types within the industry, such as commissioning and validation, several solutions are already in place to address this need.
While companies can look to the market to fulfil some of their immediate hiring needs, training programmes that encourage the development of future talent, and that can upskill and cross-skill individuals from other closely aligned industries, are becoming more important and relevant.
Ireland continues to display great potential to further develop its presence in what is a truly exciting and changing global biopharmaceutical industry.
Methods for training in the biopharmaceutical industry
As the biopharmaceutical industry is a highly-regulated environment, training to perform ‘work’ requires a different paradigm and mentality than simply training to ensure compliance.
Training individuals to work in this complex arena typically involves trainees developing their skills using competency-based learning solutions. Here, trainees fully participate and engage in practical sessions that will encourage and facilitate active learning.
One of the ways this can be achieved is through presenting troubleshooting scenarios where trainees can develop critical learning skills, in real-life scenarios that are necessary for success in the industry.
Aristotle’s maxim from nearly two thousand years ago, “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them” still rings true for the biopharmaceutical industry.
Collaboration is the key to success
Ireland continues to display great potential to further develop its presence in what is a truly exciting and changing global biopharmaceutical industry. Central to this is workforce readiness and key talent development programmes.
Further collaboration to address the skills agenda between government agencies, industry and academia, will undoubtedly equate with future success.
Customising training programmes
The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) provides a wide training portfolio to support both the academic sector, where higher education institutes are tasked with educating and supplying the workforce of the future, and industry, where customised training content is designed to meet specific learning outcomes of trainees.
Courses range from introductory elearning content hosted on NIBRT’s recently launched online academy (NOA) that can provide “just in time” learning, to specific short courses focusing on important aspects of the industry and offering opportunities for skills development.