Biotech experts identify challenges and opportunities facing the Canadian bio-economy

OTTAWA, September 08, 2020 – BioTalent Canada announced today preliminary findings from its most recent bio-economy Labour Market Information (LMI) study. The data in this new brief—Amplifying Success— was collected from a series of industry roundtable discussions, analysis of Statistics Canada data sources, and a systematic review of sector-based reports and articles.

Employers have long identified a skills and knowledge gap in the bio-economy. The purpose of the completed LMI study is to help close that gap and provide stakeholders with a clear picture of trends shaping the biotechnology industry.

“The most important resource in any industry—biotech included—is talent,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “For our industry to continue to thrive and innovate, it’s paramount that we solve the current labour supply issues that industry experts identify as a major challenge.”

More students graduate from Canadian post-secondary institutions with bio-economy-related degrees than ever. They’re also in higher demand from other industries than ever before. Because of this, the expert roundtables produced three key determinations.

  1. There is a need for flexible initiatives to facilitate connections between graduates and industry.
  2. A greater emphasis must be placed on transitioning international students to permanent Canadian residents.
  3. Increased resources are required to assist employers navigate immigration issues for recruitment of new talent.

“We’re encouraged that the findings in this brief, specifically the piece about connecting graduates to industry, are consistent with Canada’s Economic Strategy Tables’ talent-based recommendations,” adds Henderson. “And this is where the positive impact of work-integrated learning programs—like those offered by BioTalent Canada—can really be felt. Wage subsidies like the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) give employers an advantage in forming relationships with job-ready talent and offer another way for the Canadian biotech industry to grow on a global scale.”

BioTalent Canada will publish five more research briefs in advance of the full LMI release in 2021. The organization plans to produce 11 more in-depth reports next year, including nine new LMI studies, a hot jobs report, and a talent supply report.

Any employers that wish to provide expertise in a future study should contact BioTalent Canada Project Manager Adriana Saenz.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.

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About BioTalent Canada
BioTalent Canada™ is the HR partner of and catalyst for growth in Canada’s bio-economy. Our engagement with employers, associations, post-secondary institutions, immigrant serving agencies and service providers has built a dynamic network that is strengthening skills, connecting job-ready talent to industry and creating opportunities. Recently awarded a Great Place to Work® Certification, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards they recommend to their stakeholders. For more information visit

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Siobhan Williams
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BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229
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