Ann Ryan, Head of Business Development at Innopharma Education.

Lifelong learning is a gateway to opportunity

“Lifelong learning creates a talent pool of skills in a fast-moving industry that’s being transformed by new technologies. But it’s also good for an individual’s personal growth.”

That’s according to Ann Ryan, Head of Business Development at Innopharma Education, a higher education provider committed to helping individuals develop the skills they need to thrive in pharma, food, and the medtech industries.

Ms Ryan said the days of finishing your qualifications, finding a job, and then never thinking about study again are “well and truly over”, something which is particularly true in life sciences, where fast-moving technology advances are transforming the sector, meaning workers will have to embrace lifelong learning in order to keep up.

Investing in new skills and knowledge

In this brave new world of frontier technologies, Ms Ryan explains that companies will need people who have skills in coding, data analytics, augmented reality, AI, cloud computing, and green tech.

She said: “Great strides in technology are changing the landscape for workforces and increasing the need for new skills and knowledge.

“Organisations and government are estimating that a 66% increase in green roles will be needed by 2030. We must therefore create a robust talent pipeline that addresses skills shortages and meets industry demand. This is important for the Irish economy - which is a huge hub for pharma - because it ensures competitiveness and continued business investment.”

The individual benefits of lifelong learning

“Lifelong learning isn’t just essential for businesses. It’s also key to an individual’s personal development and growth,” added Ms Ryan.

“It enhances cognitive ability and critical thinking, so it’s good for health and wellbeing. Constant learning challenges biases, broadens the mind and teaches people skills such as resilience, leadership, and communication. Knowing you are always learning new things, and so future proofing your career, can be a real positivity boost,” she pointed out.

Since 2010, Innopharma Education has helped more than 10,000 learners transform their career trajectories, with 75% of graduates successfully progressing after completion of a course.

Ms Ryan continued: “Our learners can be all ages - although they tend to be between 30 and 55 - and from all backgrounds.

“They might already be in the industry and want to upskill or they may want to break into the industry and need to reskill. We offer everything from level 6 higher certificates to master’s qualifications, and all learning is flexible and delivered as a blend of part-time and e-learning study. More and more people are realising that lifelong learning is manageable, exciting, and a gateway to opportunity.”

Ms Ryan should know because she is a lifelong learner herself. “It’s brilliant to see people develop a love of lifelong learning, especially when they use it to achieve professional and personal goals, they never thought possible,” she concluded.