Why CPD is Significant for Contractors

Posted Apr 17, 2024

In this blog, we’ll explore why CPD (Continuous Professional Development) is so important for contractors within the life sciences sector.

Businesses globally are pouring millions of dollars into establishing and sustaining their life sciences operations in Ireland. With access to a rich talent pool and steadfast government backing, the life sciences sector in Ireland is experiencing unprecedented growth! 2023 was an exceptional year for the life sciences market, marked by significant investments and industry developments. LSC clients spanning Ireland and Denmark are collectively injecting over €13 billion into new facilities and expansions, which will result in a considerable increase in resourcers. Within the Biopharmaceutical domain alone, the next five years are poised to yield the creation of 10,000 new jobs, underscoring the pressing need for ongoing professional development initiatives to align with this rapid growth trajectory.

So why is CPD important in Life Sciences?

We have seen the Life Science market in Ireland change dramatically in the last 5-10 years, with an increased focus on evolving skillsets and greater specialisation.

Nearly half of the skills that exist in today’s workforce won’t be relevant just two years from now. In the past, a static skillset could carry you far in your career, but today, continual evolution of your skills is essential for sustained success. New facilities/projects mean the introduction of new advanced technology and innovative equipment, so your skills need to evolve to meet marketplace demands.

We are also seeing a noticable shift towards greater specialisation. Tighter project deadlines, more complex delivery frameworks, and evolving technologies are placing a strong emphasis on contractors with highly specialised expertise. Experience in configuring a particular system or general process design might not be enough in the future. Future success will require a deeper understanding of specific parts of client processes, in depth knowledge of implementation, and a proven track record. It’s not just about technical skills; it’s about knowing how to deliver applications successfully. In the future, engineers are not just competing on technical abilities but also on their grasp of the project delivery process.

With an ever-changing environment, there are fantastic opportunities being created for those who have the most up to date and sought-after skills.

Stay Ahead!

Today, with thousands of job opportunities and projects in the pipeline it is certainly a consultant’s market. However, it’s important to look ahead and keep an eye on where the market is going. Anticipate what key drivers will be shaping your specific field over the next three to five years and strategically position yourself to be at the forefront of implementing whatever that may be.

Investing in your personal and professional development will undoubtedly futureproof your career. Advancing your technical knowledge is imperative as technology changes but enhancing your soft skills is equally as important.

Technology changes, remote working and outsourcing of parts of the project life cycle means that there is now an increased emphasis on the need for contractors to possess strong communication skills and a high level of emotional intelligence. Contractors who have these skills have become invaluable assets. Their ability to empathise, adapt, and convey complex ideas with clarity within an outsourced or remote project team ensures that projects not only stay on track but also meet deadlines and maintain a high standard of quality. Clients are not necessarily looking for people with the best qualifications and the most experience, but those with the right attitude and communication skills to get the job done effecitvely.

Finding space for CPD in a busy life is difficult. However, when we think back, 10 plus years ago the market was in free fall and most companies were either terminating contractors early or making significant rate cuts. Consultants with the most progressive skillsets were the ones who were least impacted by the economic downturn. As we look ahead, you need to ensure your skill sets don’t just reflect what you have done in the past, but what you can do to support client’s future needs as they change in this ever-evolving sector!

Explore related blogs below:

Why is emotional intelligence key to career success?