Video Case Studies: How Apprentices Are Solving Problems in Pharma and Food Companies
The transcript and video case studies below feature interviews with host company representatives, mentors and apprentices working in the Pharmaceutical industry and food industry.
Transcript of the Video Case Studies:
Why Life Science Apprenticeships
From 1992 to the present Rx Research Services [a division of MEIRxRS] has recruited and placed qualified professionals in biotech pharmaceuticals food and nutraceuticals.
Barriers to entry in life science industries are high for new graduates, returning veterans, and misplaced mid-career professionals whose skills are not considered sufficient by hiring managers. Finding candidates with the preferred three to five years of experience for new job openings is a huge problem for hiring managers nationwide.
We see this as a unique opportunity. Today’s demanding jobs in science, technology engineering and math require workers to navigate complex regulations and standards.
Case Study: Quality Control Apprentices Helping Food Companies
The main challenge that I see for food companies in the future under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011 is documentation. Documentation meaning they’ve never had to do it before Even the bigger companies, certain phases of it they didn’t have to do and now they still have to do these and FDA is going to be regulating them on that documentation. Now with the division working on adding the FSMA Side of it the preventive controls, with the hassle, this will be a good certification for all food professionals no matter where they are.
It’s a real-life experience of working with different companies and being exposed to different processes. It’s something you can’t learn in school even though we went through so many years of schooling. There’s nothing like being in the action and having to solve problems.
American Twist on European Model
Taking the example of 50 years of the European model for preparing entry-level individuals, we created uniquely American apprenticeships in partnership with life sciences companies. Together we are meeting the demand for skilled and experienced workers.
Hi I’m Rosemarie Christopher, founder and CEO of Rx Research Services, a contract research organization. Rx Research Services is dedicated to bridging the talent gap through an innovative science, technology, engineering and math stem apprentice program.
Our registered apprentice program reinforces your workforce in the life sciences industry with newer graduates, returning veterans, and displaced mid-career professionals. We do this by on-the-job training, online learning programs, together with one-on-one mentorship. And within 24 months our apprentices have mastered very complex skills associated with Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance, Data Management, Clinical Research, Medical Affairs and advanced Bio-Manufacturing.
In a word, we are future-proofing our new graduates, our returning veterans, and our displaced mid-career professionals who now have the skills and certifications to work in the new gig economy.
Case Study: Clinical Data Apprentices Pharmaceutical Company
Dr. Ulo Palm, Allergan’s Senior Vice President of Drug Development Operations has a vision for quality safety and reproducibility in pharmaceutical research. He has introduced us to J’ne Hinger, his Vice President of Clinical Research Operations and Patty Whitman, Director of Clinical Research Operations. These remarkable individuals are mentoring our 10 apprentices as they learn how to deliver quality and reproducibility and data integrity for the pharmaceutical industry.
The apprentices support many areas within Allergan. Within drug development operations, everything from clinical operations, trial master file, study startup support, data management, clinical supplies and process training and continuous improvement.
Allergan, just as many large pharmaceutical companies, we handle an enormous amount of data and it’s coming from multiple sources. So, the apprentices have actually brought a really fresh perspective in collecting and analyzing that data and they put it in a nice package that’s a little bit more digestible and it actually helps us make better business decisions.
At Allergan, we handle about 150 or so studies, and the apprentices do many things for us. In particular, making sure that our resourcing is adequate to cover all those projects is really critical. We have one apprentice that took all of our resource and algorithms, put it all together for us and then put it in a visual format so that we could see where our resourcing capacity was and ensure that all of our projects were covered. This was very useful for us. Another example is in process training and continuous improvement. We have many different training materials and templates and forums and one apprentice put all of it in an internal web site for us.
Over 20 years ago, I was working as a nurse in a research setting and J’ne actually took me under her wing and introduced me to the pharmaceutical world.
Parting Words From Current Apprentices
What I want to tell a friend or a colleague of mine about the apprenticeship program is that it’s a really good program to get your foot into the door and to get some work experience right out of college.
Well if I was talking to a friend about the apprenticeship program at Allergan and I would tell them it’s a great opportunity you could be thrown into a pharmaceutical business where you get to learn from the best people and you get a great experience.