Bengaluru : In an effort to give a fillip to competency among the workforce in the industry, the Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (KDPMA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Life Science Sector Skill Development Council (LSSSDC). The MOU acknowledges the need for the industry to support the skills imparted by the vocational system in the state.
The move follows a circular issued by the Drugs Control General of India (DCGI) in August 2007 to upgrade the skill sets across pharma-biotech industry. The regulatory authority has seen the need for all the personnel in drug manufacturing units to undergo the certification programmes developed by the LSSSDC from January 2018.
The key purpose to collaborate with LSSSDC is to enhance the industry participation in skills development. “We are working to encourage our member companies to get their existing workforce certified by LSSSDC. This will also encourage them to get an affiliation from the Council to accredit their training and development facility for fresher’s and new hires,” Sunil Attavar, president, Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.
Another key advantage envisaged is that it will help providing industry experienced people for new areas of training going by the current shortage envisaged, he added.
“We are confident that this MoU will provide the industry with certified trained personnel and endorse the process of accreditation, assessment and certification by Life Sciences Skill Sector. The industry will be encouraged to give priority on hiring candidates certified by LSSSDC. The initiative has already started. A few companies have already applied for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) certification and their staff have been trained in this process. Acharya College of Pharmacy and Biocon Academy are already approved by LSSSDC to conduct training programmes,” said Attavar.
The LSSSDC follows a curriculum set under the National Occupational Standards (NOS) under 60 different skill sets. The decision on the number of batches and the candidates per session will be based on the requirement.
The pharma industry in the state is already known for its high quality standards in manufacture. Yet training and skill development is a continuous process for existing workforce as it provides the much-needed competency benchmark. The NOS has been designed by the industry and it will give one a clear picture on the gaps that need to be bridged. If it’s a fresh workforce, then the industry has access to a readily trained team certified as per stringent requirements required in the life sciences sector. This training which is a mix of theory and actual practicals bridges the gap which the industry has been yearning for, stated Attavar.
Karnataka already has a Pharmacy Training Institute which conducts relevant industry based courses to ensure hands-on the exposure to ensure fresh candidates are capable to take on assignments without much ado. “However, we see that LSSSDC programme will bring in a synergy to the existing efforts of PTI. In fact, PTI has also applied to be a certified institute to conduct training for the LSSSD programme,” he said.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.