Bringing Essential Skills to the Bio-economy Labour Force (2017-2021)


To address interpersonal skills shortages in the Canadian bio-economy through the development of a unique curriculum for these essential skills lacking in the bio-economy work force. BioTalent Canada will deliver this curriculum through an online learning platform and a series of essential skills seminars across Canada in traditional and emerging biotechnology clusters identified by our recent labour market research. The online platform and seminars will primarily focus on thinking, oral communication and working with others and will also touch on reading, writing and the importance of document use, especially since many of these industry subsectors are highly regulated. The primary audience for these seminars will be current employees of existing biotechnology firms and job seekers wanting to enter this labour force. Each seminar will be conducted by BioTalent Canada over two days in partnership with regional and national life science and biotechnology associations.


May 2017 – May 2021

Industry need:

Sequencing the Data, a national study of Canadian bio-economy companies from coast to coast, was conducted to assess the needs of the labour market. Results from this survey showed that:

  • 76% of employers will be looking for interpersonal and communication skills in new hires
  • Over 50% of companies report that they are experiencing skills deficiencies in current staff
  • 40% of those companies state these skills shortages have a major impact on current business operations


Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program.