Service provider Modis is expanding its expertise to address scarcity in bottleneck sectors
The Belgian life science, pharmaceutical and technology sectors are urgently looking for around 18,200 new specialized employees. That is shown by a survey among the sector federations Essenscia and Agoria, carried out by Modis, which specializes as an expert in these sectors. It mainly concerns jobs that require a specific, highly-skilled diploma and cross-subject insight. Modis, part of The Adecco Group, is expanding its expertise to respond to the digital disruption the corporate world is facing. As a result, the boundaries between its core sectors IT, Engineering and Life Sciences sectors are blurring.
On 9 May 2019, CMAST and XPE Pharma & Science (focused on life sciences and pharmacy), euro engineering (focused on the engineering sector) and Modis IT (focused on IT), all part of the Adecco Group, will join forces as Modis. That means that Modis will operate in three bottleneck sectors: life sciences, IT & engineering. The company announced this today, simultaneously with the knowledge for growth conference in Ghent. By joining forces, Modis is responding to the rapidly changing industry, which is challenged by a growing demand for specialized personnel in the life science, pharmaceutical and technology sectors – among other things caused by digital disruption.
Looking for expertise and experts
The sector federations state that Belgian companies that focus on technology, life sciences and pharmaceuticals are growing at a rapid pace. So fast that the supply of experts cannot keep up with the demand. Most of the open positions can be found within the technology sector. According to technology federation Agoria, tech companies are looking for around 16,000 experts who can offer solutions for all kinds of projects: from developing machines to creating software applications. In addition, the Belgian federation for life sciences and chemistry, Essenscia, estimates that, just like last year, some 2,200 jobs still need to be filled in the fields of chemistry and biological sciences. According to the sector federation, the cause can be found in strong investments, technological innovations and an aging population (almost one in three employees in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors is over 50 years old).
Modis notes that the bottleneck sectors are mainly looking for researchers, developers, specialized project managers and IT experts. That is why mainly graduates with a high level of education in life sciences, IT or engineering are eligible to fill the total of 18,200 vacancies. However, these talents are scarce in Belgium, as the 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index shows. Belgium ranks only 40th in terms of available scientists and engineers.
“For many companies, outsourcing certain supporting technological services is necessary in order to keep focusing on the core of their business processes and to bring in the necessary innovation. An external partner such as Modis will therefore become an important partner for the bottleneck sectors. External partners can support in the temporary deployment of specialized consultants to guide internal business processes.”
Dennis Britstra, Managing Director IT & Engineering, Modis Belgium
Bottleneck sectors converge
In addition to the shortage of specific profiles, the now unified Modis responds to the fact that digital evolution is encouraging many companies within these sectors to adjust their business model and to work with experts from other sectors. Digital innovations are increasingly blurring the boundaries between the IT, science and engineering sectors. As a result, bottleneck sectors are increasingly in need of knowledge that they do not naturally have in-house. That is also why the demand for external experts is increasing.
“We see an enormous development in the field of personalized medicine and advanced diagnostic techniques. Technologies such as ‘Artificial Intelligence’, ‘the Internet of Things’ and ‘Big Data’ are increasingly being integrated into companies that specialize in the development of pharmaceutical products, for example. But biomedical engineers do not always have sufficient knowledge of these technologies. Collaboration with experts from other sectors is therefore necessary. With Modis, we want to be the ideal partner to let the right experts to participate in the development process. Modis will also bring together the right industrial and/or academic partners in a consortium to find innovative health solutions.”
Glenn Van Dael, CEO of Life Sciences, Modis Belgium
By joining forces, Modis wants to meet the need for highly skilled profiles in certain bottleneck sectors. The company does this by offering experts and solutions that the various sectors often do not have in-house. In addition, Modis will make extra efforts on training. They will provide employees with more insight into the bottleneck sectors on the one hand, and with skills they do not learn in school on the other.
“IT graduates are seldom familiar with the pharmaceutical sector, while a bio-engineer graduate does not know much about project management. However, pharmaceutical and technology companies need such profiles. Because our experts are trained and deployed in different projects of different types of companies, they expand their knowledge. This is of course very interesting for sectors that are growing at an extremely fast pace and that focus almost constantly on innovation.”
Dennis Britstra, Managing Director IT & Engineering, Modis