The importance of CPD for Life Science contractors
The Irish Life Science industry is a significant contributor to the Irish economy and was a key element in the economic recovery following the economic downturn in 2008/09. The sector employs over 50,000 people directly and exports more than €50 billion annually. Over 10 billion has been invested in the industry over 10 years – which has led to a significant resource ramp up as the sector seeks to employ an additional 12,000 people to design, produce and deliver life changing healthcare solutions to the world.
So why is CPD so important in the Life Sciences?
We have seen the Life Science market in Ireland change dramatically in the last 10 years with existing facilities seeking to become more agile, flexible, cost efficient and global. New facilities/projects mean the introduction of advanced technology, innovative equipment and new regulatory requirements which demand skills where there is currently little or no experience available. With an ever-changing environment there are phenomenal opportunities being created for those who have the most up to date and sought-after skills.
Don’t be left behind!
Today with thousands of job opportunities and projects in the pipeline it is certainly a consultant’s market – but it is important to look ahead and be aware of the need to invest in professional and personal development to future proof your career. Advancing your technical knowledge is imperative as technology changes but just as vital is developing your “soft skills”. With the pace change faster than ever you need to be adaptable, flexible and have the ability to work collaboratively.
In recent conversations a global pharma company director emphasised the importance of enthusiasm and working as a team to find solutions. They are not looking for people with the best qualifications and the most experience but for those with the right attitude first and foremost, people who can communicate with others to get the job done effectively.
Within their own staff, companies are more than ever before recognising the need to up-skill and invest in permanent employees to fill skills gaps, retain their talent and support future development and growth; Whilst this is all extremely positive one of the most skilled groups in the industry are being overlooked – The professional contractors.
Contractor engagement in CPD
From previous surveys we have conducted with LSC consultants, we found that contractor participation in CPD is extremely low. Long working hours on high stress projects and financial cost (foregoing a day earnings in addition to the cost of the course) were cited as the main pain points.
- Approx. 75% of respondents had not attended a training course in the last 2 years
- 50% of respondents spend zero on CPD (no training, lectures, subscriptions or memberships)
- 75% of respondents are not a member of any professional or industry body
At LSC we see the importance of CPD and have recently launched a Consultant Success Programme to help, support and facilitate our consultants to develop in their roles and reach their long-term career goals.
Finding space for CPD in a busy life is difficult, but 10 years ago the market was in free fall and most companies were shedding contractors, terminating contracts early or making significant rate cuts. Consultants with the most progressive skill sets were the ones who were least impacted by the economic downturn. As we look ahead we see the need to ensure your skill sets don’t just reflect what you have done in the past, but what you can do to support the client’s future needs as they change in this ever-evolving sector!