Meeting the labour needs of Canada’s bio-economy
Canada’s bio-economy is growing, thanks to high demand for bio-based products, including renewable energy, vaccines and other medications, and agricultural products. To meet this demand, the sector must hire 65,000 more workers by 2029 — no small feat with labour shortages anticipated over the next decade. As the bio-economy’s talent development partner, BioTalent Canada is dedicated to working with our network to help the sector meet this need with critical labour market information, skills development support for the next generation of workers, and assistance finding talent.
This strategy provides a roadmap for the delivery of key programs and resources that will help ensure Canada’s bio-economy employers have access to a competent workforce that can meet the needs of the industry today and over the long term. Our foundational research provides a critical knowledge base, helps identify areas of greatest need and enables us to provide the most relevant programming. Building on that foundation, our ongoing support for employers includes evidence-based resources and supports to help bio-economy employers develop their workforces.
To ensure this strategy’s success, we call on our network of partners and the Government of Canada to join and help the Canadian bio-economy flourish for the future.
The strategy in detail
1. Labour market information
To plan for successful growth, the bio-economy needs accurate and current labour market information (LMI) about required skills, available talent and future needs. Our in-depth LMI studies, updated most recently in 2021, provide critical information on the evolution of the bio-economy and deliver a detailed picture of the available workforce and anticipated skills gaps. Armed with this knowledge, we can work with our partners to fill those gaps and ensure bio-economy employers can succeed and grow.
Read our latest LMI study
2. National Occupational Standards
A common understanding of the typical tasks of a specific job — as well as the skills, education and other credentials required for the job — helps employers plan for ongoing recruitment, succession planning and professional development. Our National Occupational Standards (NOS) are a series of detailed profiles for more than 40 bio-economy occupations, with more to come. Using the NOS profiles, employers can easily identify skills gaps within their organizations, write clear job descriptions, conduct effective interviews and support employees’ career progression.
Explore the National Occupational Standards
Ongoing support for employers
3. Professional development
In response to critical skills gaps identified by bio-economy employers, we have developed a series of skills courses to ensure new employees are job-ready. These courses teach essential skills such as critical thinking, communication and document use, and technical skills including laboratory and manufacturing practice, scientific report writing, and quality assurance/quality control. We also offer a series of courses that introduce learners to the bio-economy and its four sub-sectors. Equipped with these skills and knowledge, new entrants to the bio-economy are better prepared to excel in their work. Additional courses will be developed based on needs identified by labour market research.
See our course listings
4. Skills recognition
Immigrants, internationally educated professionals and workers from other fields offer a wealth of skills and expertise, and are a key source of the talent needed to meet labour needs in the next decade. Our BioSkills Recognition Program gives these workers a way to have their skills and credentials recognized for their value to the bio-economy. Candidates can have their portfolios reviewed by industry experts and be designated BioReady™, giving employers the confidence to hire them even if they lack experience in the Canadian bio-economy. Additional programs may be developed based on industry needs.
Learn more about the BioSkills Recognition Program
5. Talent management
Our talent management programs are designed specifically for the bio-economy, with tailored tools to bring employers and workers together. Our bio-economy-exclusive job board, The PetriDish™, and BioSkills Match™ database help employers and job-seekers narrow in on the right fit for every role. And our range of wage subsidy programs, including the Student Work Placement Program, take the risk out of hiring new graduates, newcomers to Canada or others with little formal bio-economy experience. This helps employers meet their talent needs and new entrants to the field gain valuable experience. As needs evolve, additional resources will be developed, including support for organizations looking to become more resilient and to integrate the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility into their workplaces.
Find a job or an employee
A bio-economy for all
Woven throughout all our initiatives is the concept of IDEA: inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. These principles are vital to ensuring a healthy and vibrant bio-economy where everyone is able to bring their best and contribute to the success of the sector. In recognition of IDEA’s role as the cornerstone for all HR and talent activities, our new I.D.E.A.L Bioscience Employer designation encourages and rewards employers who demonstrate leadership in this area by integrating IDEA principles into everything they do, from their talent management practices to their supply chains.
Find out how you can become an I.D.E.A.L Bioscience Employer