GIZ is a German federally owned public benefit enterprise, working in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development in over 120 countries.
These programs are based on Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). It can be used by companies to upskill and reskill their employees on the aspects of GMP. The objective of PDPs is to provide E-Learning modules aligned to organizational goals of member companies of industry associations.
LSSSDC is recognized and approved, as a Sector Skill Council for Life Sciences Sector inclusive of Pharmaceutical (including AYUSH), Biopharmaceutical, and Contract Research, by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under a mandate from Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
These programs are voluntary in nature to be adopted by industry and working professionals. The price per user license is kept at Rs 3000. Further, bulk discounts are also available for the companies who wish to purchase licenses in bulk for their employees.
According to LSSSDC estimates, the employment opportunities in the pharma sector for occupations like in quality assurance, quality control, and production along with medical sales will increase to 1633057 from the prevailing 1014000 on pan India basis over the next five years by 2026. In Maharashtra alone, the workforce is expected to surge to 408250 from 253500 during the same period of five years.
Post Launch of LSSSDC’s PDP and enrolment of approximately 150 users in the last month of FY 20-21, a series of positive feedbacks were received from industry leaders. Following a good start, LSSSDC has boarded approximately 600 licenses in the first two quarters of FY 21-22.
The users of Professional Development Programs (PDPs) include major companies such as Cadila Healthcare (Zydus), Cipla , DRL, Emcure, Lupin, Group Pharma, Neuland Labs and Sun Pharma.
The Programs currently available for Users are Good Manufacturing Practices driven, and were developed in partnership with GIZ as part of GIZ contribution to Skill Development Ecosystem in Life Sciences Sector.
To make these programs available to MSME companies, LSSSDC is in discussion with private industry players as well as industry associations like Bulk Drugs Manufacturers Association (BDMA) and Confederation Of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry (CIPI) to become aggregators for MSMEs. The discounts are being offered upto 70% for a MSME company.
“Life Sciences sector (comprising of Pharma, Biopharma and Contract research) whether manufacturing or sales, training and/or upskilling is a continuous process and after the country was hit by pandemic last year, the companies were facing a huge challenge in training their workforce with class room training with Covid-19 restrictions, in finding suitable trainers and course content. So we moved into the space and started putting the program online or in hybrid structure,” according to a LSSSDC official.
The PDPs are based on trends of training needs identified from the actual skill gap areas for industry clients and backed by consent from LSSSDC Governing Board.
“For the current Program on offer, this is a result of a consulting done with Industry associations like IPA and Federation of Pharma Entrepreneurs (FOPE) for their member companies where a detailed research was done by LSSSDC using secondary research on audit reports from USFDA and primary research through a focused group discussion with experts. It resulted in the areas identified as actual skill gaps. Then, LSSSDC developed the first program focused on 360 degree aspects of GMP for a Machine Operator in the Production department with the funding from Industry and our German counterpart,” the official further added.
The council jointly with the industry has developed about 60 “Vocational Qualifications”, which define the skill-sets needed to perform the major job roles in the pharmaceutical sector. On a pan-India basis, the council aims to certify the skilled workforce of 2.1 lakh over the next 10 years.
LSSSDC has been working with the members of the pharmaceutical industry including Abbott, Ajanta Pharma, Alkem Laboratories, Bayer, Bharat Biotech, Biocon, Cadila Healthcare, Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Emcure, Lupin, and Sun Pharma, and Pharmexcil among several others.
LSSSDC has been formed to create a robust and vibrant eco-system for the development of a skilled workforce matching globally recognized standards for the life sciences sector in India. This will provide meaningful livelihood opportunities to a multitude of people in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and clinical research space in India.
LSSSDC seeks to address this by focusing on sector-specific competencies/skills, quality assurance through the accreditation of skills acquired by trainees, curriculum development for skills training, qualification framework and setting of standards and benchmarks, aiding in recruitment and placement of trained and skilled workforce, and becoming a repository of information.