The facility, developed by FÁS and based in Carrigaline, will be used to train those in the bio-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical sectors in Ireland.
More than 400 people are expected to use the facility in its first year.
These will include those already employed in the industry seeking to up-skill or cross-skill, new entrants, and those seeking employment in the sector following redundancy.
One of the first companies to make use of the facility will be biopharmacy company, Centocor Biologics, which by the start of next year will employ more than 300 people in Cork.
Other companies which are believed to be supporting the centre include Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, GSK and Novartis.
The unit consists of a process training area, a clean room and three classrooms.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin said: “As 80% of the existing workforce will still be in employment in 2020, it is essential that we encourage the further development of skills and attainment of recognised qualifications.
“This new unit will afford participants the opportunity to achieve qualifications at levels five and six on the National Framework, and will hopefully instil a culture of lifelong learning.”
He added that in order to continually attract new industries and encourage additional investment in Ireland, state of the art education and training facilities must be provided.
“It should be noted that offering world class training and skills for employees is for the betterment of Ireland as a whole, providing us with a unique competitive advantage in the global economy.”