To address the gap of skilled manpower in life sciences sector comprising pharma, biotechnology and clinical research, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) will set up Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council (LSSSDC) to evolve National Occupation Standards (NOS) and Qualification Packs (QP’s) for various job roles across functional areas in the life science sector. Satish Reddy, vice chairman and managing director, Dr Reddy’s Lab, has been appointed chairman of LSSSDC.
The Council will accredit training institutions and help them develop curricula based on NOS’s, Training of Trainers and certification of the skilled workforce.
As per the programme, skill requirements of all job roles in the sector will be appropriately captured in the NOS’s and QP’s, thereby minimising the skill gaps that currently exist across levels and functional areas. This will also mark a paradigm shift from the current supply led system, wherein aspirants obtain diplomas or degrees from various training institutes and universities, but upon joining the Life Sciences sector, are usually found to be inadequately skilled.
Says Ranjit Madan, chief executive officer, LSSSDC, “National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been mandated to set up Sector Skills Councils to address the skill shortfalls in various sectors, including life sciences sector. CII is wholeheartedly supporting this initiative by actively promoting the setting up of such Councils. We are aiming to have the LSSSDC registered by May, 2014. ”
The need for the council arose because besides the skill gaps, it is widely estimated that the industry is incurring a huge cost in re-skilling people after their recruitment.
“Estimate reveal the cost to be as high as 50 per cent of CTC of an employee recruited. There is also an impediment of attrition and low productivity costs. On top of this, there is a huge concern related to fake degrees and diplomas. As per media reports, as many as 38 per cent of those applying to this sector have fake degrees or diplomas. Council will address such issues once it comes into being,” adds Madan.
LSSSDC will be financed in the first 3 years through a one time government grant of Rs. 5 crore, coupled with a contribution from the industry to the tune of Rs. 50 lacs. The objective is to make the LSSSDC a self sustainable body after the first 3 years. It will help to cover 100 job trades, enlist approximately 340 training institutions and 34000 trainers, and skill approximately 3.4 million for the life science sector over a 10 year period.
As a part of the Government’s initiative to skill 500 million people in the country across sectors by 2022, a National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and National Skill Development Council (NSDC) was set up to create an enabling environment to help Councils in varied sectors accomplish their goals.