The Bio-economy Labour Market Information (LMI) Study (2018-2021)

Main Objective:

To address current and future skills shortages, encourage strategic workforce planning and alleviate labour market challenges by producing updated and accurate LMI for the Canadian bio-economy.


July 2018 – June 2021

Project Goals:

To provide granular, real-time and current biotechnology LMI to the industry and investigate short-term (1-3 years), medium and long-term (3-7 year) estimates and trends of sector-specific labour demand and supply.

Project Summary:

Current independent and industry driven LMI is critical to better understand the sector’s HR landscape and to develop practical HR strategies to alleviate labour market challenges. BioTalent Canada will conduct a widespread census of the companies within the industry to get a full picture of the composition of the bio-economy. Through extensive surveying and interviewing several reports – national, regional, and of key hubs – will be published. The granular reports will focus on the:

  • current and future skills shortages,
  • supply and demand of workers, and
  • data to facilitate employer HR resource planning and management.

Mission Fit/Industry need:

As a major contributor to the nation’s economy and active in all regions of the country, Canada’s bio-economy is multi-disciplinary and defined by 4 major subsectors:  bio-health, bio-energy, bio-industrial and agri-biotech. Within these subsectors, the industry significantly impacts health, bioscience, agriculture, electricity, forestry, fishing, information technology, nutraceutical food processing and advanced manufacturing. Despite its significant influence on Canada’s economic market, updated information identifying the number, size, subsector and composition of bio-economy companies nationwide is needed. Information representing the sector, its subsectors and its pool of talented labour and skills gaps on the national level, is either non-existent or outdated. Accurate primary data is critical to ensure the industry has access to the skilled talent it requires to remain innovative and productive.

BioTalent Canada is the only national bio-economy organization that specializes in HR, training and skills development. BioTalent Canada’s key mission is to collaborate with private and public-sector partners to identify and address skills gaps, promote innovation and best HR practices to make the bio-economy a career of choice for job seekers and a driver of the Canadian economy.

In 2013, BioTalent Canada conducted a national statistically significant LMI study of the Canadian bio-economy to discover its greatest human resource (HR) challenges. From this study it was determined that:

  • 50>% of companies in the sector reported a skills shortage among staff.
  • 19% of organizations conveyed having unfilled positions.
  • 40% indicated that this skills shortage was having a major negative impact on their company.
  • 63% of companies reported needing to outsource skills to solve vacancy and skills shortage problems.

To be cognizant of how the industry’s labour market has shifted since 2013, BioTalent Canada’s LMI research study of the bio-economy will help to improve the balance between supply and demand for talent within the sector by better understanding its needs. Access to updated and extensive primary data will allow the industry to be significantly more strategic in its workforce planning and skill development while enabling, job seekers, employers, students and educators to make sound decisions concerning the labour market. Furthermore, the LMI generated will become the compass BioTalent Canada uses to evaluate the projects, tools and services that it develops to serve the sector ensuring it has the skilled talent it needs to thrive.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiative Program.Canada logo