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The Competence Centre for Chemistry, Biopharmacy and Biotechnology is expanding, evolving, and taking on a new identity. Cefochim, which has become aptaskil, inaugurated the first phase of its expansion work in October 2021. Located in Seneffe, it now has a second complex of clean rooms (GMP manufacturing areas) and additional practical biopharmaceutical training areas such as a new hall for maintenance and electro-instrumentation as well as a laboratory. The second phase of the expansion, which will enable aptaskil to further extend its learning areas, is planned for summer 2022.

The investment of 10 million euros for the expansion work, together with the provision of new equipment and digital development of training, will incease aptaskil’s training capacity by more than 25%. The Centre currently trains 4,500 people per year, 2/3 of whom are in the biopharmaceutical sector and 1/3 in the chemical sector.

The sector contributes 4.9 million euros to the entire infrastructure expansion project thanks to financing from the sectoral training funds within Co-valent. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in partnership with Le Forem, the owner of the original building, is investing 980,000 euros and aptaskil itself is contributing 330,000 euros. Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan should complement this funding with a contribution of 3.8 million euros.

The Competence Centre for production jobs (manufacturing, quality control laboratory, maintenance, etc.) was set up in 2003 by the sector’s social partners, supported by the sectoral training funds grouped within Co-valent. The Forem joined the project in 2006.

The training courses provided by the competence centre are intended for working people, job seekers, students, and teachers.

The aptaskil trainers have direct industrial experience, acquired in companies. This expertise, combined with the availability of equipment reproducing industrial processes (clean rooms, ATEX zones, laboratories, maintenance halls, etc.) during practical training, allows learners to acquire new skills in real-life situations.

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