People – Ambitions

Winning the global battle for talent

Society needs scientific and technical talents to invent tomorrow’s solutions. Attracting young people to replace departing employees in an ageing workforce and maintaining knowledge are essential to ensure the successful future development of the Belgian chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry in a competitive market.
essenscia, in collaboration with its social partners, leads a whole range of initiatives to raise young people’s awareness of the importance of choosing to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects) and of the numerous career opportunities the industry offers young talents.

essenscia is striving to reduce the gap between the education system and the chemicals, plastics and life sciences industry. In close collaboration with several schools, the industry has been one of the first to set up a system for ‘dual learning’ at every level of education (both secondary & higher education) and essenscia hopes to extend these programmes in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia.
The Industry 4.0 revolution creates new opportunities and also new needs for other types of jobs. A study conducted in collaboration with the Antwerp Management School on the future of jobs in the sector will help companies transition to the industry of the future, by understanding better what competences are needed in the new world environment.

Via specific training courses, the sector, in cooperation with Co-valent, aims to keep its employees’ knowledge up-to-date and to encourage them to continuously improve their skills. It has set up dedicated training infrastructures in the sectoral training centres ACTA, Cefochim and PlastIQ. A feasibility study on the need for a training centre in biopharma in Flanders is ongoing.

Key actions

  • Reinforce collaboration between industry and education via dual learning.
  • Attract more young and qualified people into the sector.
  • Invest in continuous learning programmes for the existing workforce to prepare the labour market for the jobs of the future.

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