How to be at the top of biopharmaceuticals and chemistry training? Cefochim will tell you everything

How to be at the top of biopharmaceuticals and chemistry training? Cefochim will tell you everything

Cefochim, Seneffe

Cefochim, a training centre based in Seneffe, is known for its up-to-date equipment. It has a 600-m2 clean room, unique in Europe, for providing the best level of training to Greater Charleroi workers in the life sciences and chemical fields.

The training centre has a clean room which is typical of biopharmaceuticals and chemicals companies: unique in Europe

A cutting-edge resource, unique in Europe

It’s pointless looking elsewhere, you won’t find better training in production and maintenance jobs in the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries. Created in 2003, a quarter of the space at Cefochim, one of the 25 Walloon centres of excellence, is set aside for a ‘clean room’, typical for research where the level of molecules is strictly limited. ‘Everything has been designed for learning in a real context: for example, the infrastructure of the clean room. There are 4 hygiene stages before entering the fully sanitised room.  The learners are learning in real-life conditions thanks to this space,’ explains Jeanne-Marie Boufflette, head of business development at Cefochim.

The learning is designed to be in conditions which are very close to reality

Imagine a room where everything has been sanitised: the walls, the ceiling, the tools. Every person who enters has specific instructions regarding cleanliness: a suit, a cap, short fingernails, maximum beard growth of 48 hours or a mask.  ‘The students are not in the room for more than 3 hours to avoid creating bacteria,’ she says.

Companies are increasingly demanding people trained in using this type of clean room according to a very specific protocol.  ‘Requalifying an area as such takes three weeks.  Companies cannot authorise this kind of disruption to work. The company prefers employees to train with us so that they can start work with it straightaway,’ she says.

The centre holds training sessions 215 days per year

Learning through doing and in the field

In addition to the clean room, Cefochim provides practical training. An asset both for people learning a profession and for people in continuous training: ‘65% of the training sessions are given in the field.  We offer vocational training, the participants learn both in the company and in the training centre.’

The geographical position of the centre makes sense. Cefochim is established in the area of Seneffe, a strategic place with regard to the different private production companies located in Charleroi, Wavre, Lessine or Feluy.

The current trend? Training which focuses on regulation, production and safety in the areas of biopharmaceuticals and chemicals.

The instructors ensure individual monitoring by prioritising small groups of participants

A pre-established network of people to be trained

Cefochim is primarily supported by Esencia, the federation which brings together Walloon companies from the biopharmaceuticals and chemicals sectors. ‘We offer training directly based on what the companies require: what is missing in the field, what’s lacking, etc.’

Focused on production, Cefochim is linked to three other training centres also in the science field and quite close to one another: Biopark in Gosselies for research and development, Invivo in Nivelles for quality assurance and Tour Giga in Liège for biotechnology.

We offer training primarily based on what the companies require

Cefochim guarantees learning based on doing

A growing area, professions with a shortage and a training obligation

This significant success can be seen on three levels.  First of all, Cefochim continuously monitors their growing sector: ‘Belgium is at the cutting edge in life sciences and biopharmaceuticals, we’re looking to optimally train workers. We’re constantly adjusting what we offer. Our 50 instructors regularly go abroad for training.’

In addition to workers, Cefochim also addresses Years 5 and 6 pupils to spark interest in this area, generally shunned by young people.

What’s more, the centre primarily specialises in professions with a shortage of workers. ‘There is a shortage of technicians, specialist operators… What’s more, thanks to a partnership with Forem, a stable job is guaranteed to jobseekers.’

Finally, Cefochim meets the training obligation. It organises inter and intra-company training.

Currently, Cefochim cannot meet demand. In the face of this success, it is therefore seeking solutions to best satisfy the sector. It is also looking to develop automation and programming in order to be closer to the reality in the field.

Contact :

Cefochim ASBL
Zoning Industriel de Seneffe – Zone C
Rue Charles Richet
7180 Seneffe
+32 (0)64 31 07 00

©Pictures/Leslie Artamonow