Pharma and healthcare sectors indicate rise in 60% apprentice intake: Sumit Kumar

Nandita Vijay, BengaluruTuesday, September 4, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian pharma and healthcare sectors have registered a growth of 60 per cent in the intake of apprentices in the sector and also the number of employers who are forthcoming in adopting apprenticeships have doubled, said Sumit Kumar, vice president, NETAP (National Employability through Apprenticeship Programme), TeamLease Services.

It was initially the large enterprises who started apprenticeships, but this has had a cascading effect on medium organizations that have realised the merit of apprenticeships. Delving on the need of apprenticeship programme in pharma and healthcare sector and the key challenges and the way forward, kumar told Pharmabiz that specifically pharma industry is  also witnessing adoption of technology in all aspects of business to bring in cost efficiency and productivity enhancement.

“As technology is overpowering the sector, the need for talent is also getting specific and specialized. To cater to this need of talent, the sector is adopting the trend of talent creation for certain roles instead of talent acquisition. And what better way to do is through apprenticeships,” he said.
The drug research, manufacture and marketing sector is the sought after sector for employment. It currently employees about 3 million people and is expected to add over a million people in next 4 years.  The fact that the sector is backed by favourable regulatory amendments and economic improvement has put the sector on a fast growth trajectory.

Three main reasons for this growth are that it is cost effective to create talent as compared to buying talent from outside. Second, the talent is created as per the current and future needs of the business. In short it helps them create a pipeline of future employees. Third reason is that the productivity of the apprentices, when they get absorbed by the organization, is much higher which brings in business efficiencies, said Kumar.

The trend of apprenticeships has picked up for the both the sectors: pharma and healthcare, though the growth rate looks very impressive as the trend started from near ground zero, it will slow down in next 3-4 years and settle to around 35-40 per cent growth rate. The sector has cracked the code to bridge the skill deficit and could set an example for others.