MassBioEd recently launched its new Life Science Apprenticeship program in 2021 with the purpose of training participants in Biomanufacturing and Clinical Trials. Selected apprentices take classes at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies where they receive hands-on training with the chance to become full-time employees following graduation.
The apprenticeship program was created to solve three specific problems within the state, the first problem being, that the life sciences industry in Massachusetts is in dire need of a fresh source of talent. Finding and retaining qualified workers across the industry is a serious challenge, one that is only projected to get worse over the foreseeable future.
The second is finding the best ways for the state to diversify its workforce. Traditional methods of recruitment have not moved the needle on important metrics of diversity, despite the good intentions of stakeholders. The third and final problem this program hopes to fix is that many Massachusetts residents are eager to find an entry point into this industry and with this program, they now have a pathway to employment.
“Disparities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education have contributed to the widening opportunity gap and a lack of diversity in the life sciences workforce. “We are committed to discovering, developing, and manufacturing medicines for patients around the world, and it’s important that our employees appropriately represent our communities and strengthen the industry with diverse perspectives and experiences.
Cathryn Shaw-Reid, Vice President U.S. Biologics Operations at Bristol Myers Squibb
The goal of this program was to create an opportunity in the industry while also significantly increasing its diversity. Out of these 30 individuals whose ages ranged from 19 to 63 two-thirds are women, 60% identify as people of color, and 26% are immigrants. Collectively they bring decades of experience and many transferable skills from different industries and positions.
In the two previous sessions, conducting this apprenticeship Bristol Meyers Squibb saw incredible results as all 30 apprentices completed their education, and 29 transitioned to their pre-determined jobs. In addition to gaining full-time work, the average apprentice increased their income by 33%.
Read the full article here: https://www.massbio.org/news/recent-news/an-update-on-the-massbioed-life-sciences-apprenticeship-program/