Completed Projects

BioTalent Canada’s understanding of the bio-economy, project expertise, research and human resources (HR) knowledge have resulted in new and innovative HR solutions, products and services that benefit Canada, the bio-economy and companies and organizations within it. This know-how and enviable track record has led to new projects that further benefit and strengthen the industry in the global marketplace and reinforce BioTalent Canada’s position as the leading HR innovator and go-to source for HR projects and solutions for Canada’s bio-economy. BioTalent Canada’s projects and solutions development leverage results from supporting projects to maximize the effectiveness for the industry. 

These completed projects span a variety of HR initiatives and complex project undertakings in such areas as:

For information on projects BioTalent Canada is currently working on please see the Current Project Portfolio.

Labour Market Information Projects

Connecting and Advancing Women in Biotech
January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017

Indsutry need: Women constitute over 60% of physical and life sciences post-secondary graduates in Canada, yet as reported in the 2013 “Sequencing the Data”  labour market study the number of biotech companies hiring women has decreased 11.5% in the last five years - this represents a significant lost talent pool. With skills shortages and access to talent still impeding the industry it is important women are connected to career opportunities and able to advance within the industry will help address these skills gaps.

The project leveraged the existing network model established by Women in Bio, an international networking organization for women in the biotech industry, which has successfully started a chapter in Montreal and will provide ongoing support to the networks in the long term. Working with project partners, BioTalent Canada conducted a needs assessment to identify key challenges women face when integrating into the bio-economy, particularly institutional gaps, as well as supports. The organization developed local networks in Vancouver, Toronto, and Charlottetown through which women and stakeholders will work in partnership to develop sector action plans. Strategies to be implemented as part of these local plans could include reviews of human resources policies and mentoring. Read More...

Results: Moving Beyond the Boundaries - Connecting and Advancing Women in Biotechnology

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Status of Women Canada. 

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Labour Market Information (LMI) 2013
(Biotechnology LMI baseline study)

April 2012 to July 2013

Industry need: Given the dynamic, rapidly changing nature of this industry, it is essential to understand the shifting nature of the workforce to determine if critical skills needs are being met and to update Labour Market Information (LMI) to guide BioTalent Canada’s efforts in addressing and meeting the evolving HR needs of the industry. Specifically, BioTalent Canada is conducting another LMI study to gather current data on the size, composition and impact of the sector.

Supporting project leveraged: 2007 Labour Market Information for the Biotechnology Industry

Objectives:

  1. To conduct a comprehensive LMI study of the biotechnology industry that includes a regional breakdown of data such as: biotechnology functions; employment levels; job vacancies; occupational projections; wage data; definitions of key and emerging functions; and identification of critical skill areas; and
  2. To develop recommendations and an action plan for industry stakeholders that will help them address the findings and results of the study

Results:

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program.  

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Bioenergy / biofuels / industrial situational analyses
January 2009 – October 2009

Industry need: Recent growth in bioenergy, biofuels and industrial sub-sectors meant employers needed skilled talent to strengthen their capacity. Job seekers wanting to enter this workforce needed to understand employers’ requirements.

Supporting Project Leveraged: Labour Market Information for the Biotechnology Industry”

Objective: To identify employer’s talent requirements and provide a comprehensive understanding of the industry and how its development impacts human resource considerations for Canada.

Results: Generating opportunities - Human resources needs in the bioenergy, biofuels and industrial biotechnology subsectorsreport

These findings led to the development of the “Manufacturing Skills Transfer” project to help fill the biomanufacturing skills shortage.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Labour Market Information for the Biotechnology Industry
March 2007 - January 2009

Industry need: To effectively address the HR needs of the industry, a comprehensive profile of the Canadian biotechnology labour market was needed.

Objective: To conduct Labour Market Intelligence of the sector and identify human resource trends that were of strategic importance to Canada's bio-economy and create HR management tools in response to the pressing needs of small and medium enterprises.

Supporting project leveraged: Scoping Out Today’s Biotechnology Industry”

Results:

These statistically significant reports established the foundation for the “Biotechnology LMI baseline study” and “Bioenergy / biofuels / industrial situational analyses” projects.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Aboriginal Feasibility Study
October 2007 to March 2008

Industry need: Areas of opportunity in the emerging bio-economy extend from agriculture and forestry to human health and life sciences. What they have in common is their potential to improve quality of life and contribute to prosperity across the country—including the communities of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.

Objective: To identify ways to engage the Aboriginals Peoples of Canada in entering the bio-economy workforce.

Resulting Report:  Bridging the divide - Creating opportunities for the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada to enter the bio-economy”

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program.  

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Scoping Out Today’s Biotechnology Industry
October 2006 - May 2007

Industry need: Talent—a pool of skilled and qualified human resources— is critical to success in the bio-economy. Yet in many regions of Canada, demand for biotechnology talent outstrips its availability. There had been no comprehensive body of biotechnology-specific labour market information to help guide human resource strategies and the decisions of policymakers.

Objective: To conduct a labour market snapshot of the Canadian biotechnology industry. This project scoped such areas as the range of sectors using biotechnology, the occupations involved, estimated employment size per sector and emerging trends in the industry. Occupations were prioritized for competency development.

Resulting Reports:

These findings built the foundation for the “Labour Market Information for the Biotechnology Industry” and the “Skills Profile” creation projects.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Environmental Scan for Internationally Trained Professionals in the Biotechnology Sector
July 2006 to November 2006

Industry need: As in many other industries, the demand for professionals within the biotechnology sector cannot be met by those trained in Canada alone. To reach peak productivity, the industry must look to the abundant talents of scientists, researchers, technicians and others trained abroad—members of Canada’s vast and diverse immigrant population.

Supporting project leveraged: Learning Advanced Essential Skills Online”

Objective: To gain deeper insight into the needs of both Canada’s biotechnology employers and the multitude of internationally trained professionals (IEPs) in Canada seeking work in the sector. Labour market information was collected and focus groups were conducted with the employers and IEPs to determine the issues regarding recruiting, integrating and retaining IEPs.

Resulting report: Recognizing Talent: Capitalizing on the skills of foreign trained professionals for a vital bio-economy."

These findings laid the foundation for next step in assisting Internationally Educated Professionals into the bio-economy workforce via the “Workplace Skills Development for Foreign Trained Professionals” project.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program.   

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Foreign Professionals Integration Projects

Alternative Career Paths for Internationally Educated Health Professionals
February 24, 2014 to April 30, 2016

Industry Need: BioTalent Canada recently conducted a national statistically significant study of Canadian bio-economy companies from coast to coast (published September 2013) to discover their greatest human resource (HR) challenges. From this study:

  • 33.2% of companies are experiencing skills shortages
  • 40% of companies state this has a great or major impact on achieving business objectives
  • But only 52.1% of companies have internationally trained professionals on staff (a decline of 6.7% from 2008)

Of those companies that hired immigrants:

  • 51.8% improved innovation and/or problem solving on their teams
  • 43.4% improved company productivity
  • 28.9% increased access to foreign and/or domestic markets
  • 15.7% increased access to investors and/or venture capital

BioTalent Canada also conducted a national statistically significant study of recent immigrants to Canada (published November 2013). From this study:

  • 56.8% of all immigrants surveyed were unemployed
  • Unemployment for those from clinical and pre-clinical research backgrounds ranged from 44.6% to 54.5%
  • The number one reason they came to Canada was the prospect of employment
  • The number one difficulty they face upon arrival in Canada is securing employment in their field

Objective: This project provided internationally educated professionals with alternative career path options from traditional medical professions, such as physicians, surgeons, veterinarians, nurses and pharmacists, into related occupations within the Canadian bio-economy.

BioTalent Canada has previously developed a database of transferable skills for physicians, surgeons, nurses and veterinarians into 46 Canadian bio-economy occupations in Canada. BioTalent Canada will expand on this database to include transferable skills for pharmacists. Read more...

Results: Paving the Way - Facilitating Career Paths for Newcomers in the Canadian Bio-economy

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Program. 

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Interactive Canadian Bio-economy Resumé Builder
February to March 2013

Industry need: Around the world, the task of job searching is different from country to country. In some countries, it may be expected that you include your picture, marital status, age and other personal information. In other countries, such as Canada, none of this is expected. Employers are interested in a job seeker’s education and professional experience. Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) may not be aware of these differences. At BioTalent Canada, we recognize this. We have identified through its our experience and anecdotally from industry, job search firms and immigrant serving agencies that Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) require guidance on building their resumé upon arrival in Canada.

Employers don’t have time to browse through hundreds of resumés to find that perfect candidate with some of the skills they’re looking for. They need quick, go-to solutions for finding the right person with the right skills to join their team. Say, a talent search tool perhaps?

Objectives:

  1. Create a biotech skills-based resumé builder for IEPs to quickly and identify their existing skills and format the information into a resumé which caters to the needs of the Canadian bio-economy.
  2. Develop a skills-based talent search for bio-economy employers to easily find talent who possess  skills they require.

BioTalent Canada will develop an online Biotech Resumé Builder to help IEPs present their skills in a format acceptable to the Canadian bio-economy work environment. Additionally, this tool will also allow employers to browse resumés of job seekers in order to efficiently find the right talent with the required skill sets for their company or organization.

Resulting products:

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BioSkills Recognition Program
(Skills at Work – Phase II)

May 2009 – March 2013

Industry need: In 2007 BioTalent Canada conducted an environmental scan of internationally educated professionals (IEPs) in Canada's biotechnology sector. It was determined that there are four imperatives for harnessing the talents of internationally educated professionals:

  1. Canadian experience;
  2. English competency and cultural integration into the biotechnology business environment;
  3. Practical assessment of skills and confirmation of experience; and
  4. An industry broker to facilitate links between employers and prospective employees.

Supporting projects leveraged:

  • Workplace Skills Development for Foreign Trained Professionals
  • Skills Profiles I and II
  • International Medical Skills Transfer
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist Skills Transfer

Objectives:

  1. To implement a program for recognizing the competencies and skills of internationally educated professionals (IEPs) and ultimately address the shortages of skills in the Canadian bio-economy.
  2. To engage industry and IEPs in the program through outreach activities.

Resulting products and services:

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program. 

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Integration Tools for Internationally Educated Bio-Professionals
January 2010 to February 2012

Industry need: The “Recognizing talent” report identified several imperatives for harnessing the talents of internationally educated professionals (IEPs):

  1. Canadian experience;
  2. English competency and cultural integration into the biotechnology business environment;
  3. Practical recognition of skills and confirmation of experience; and
  4. An industry hub to facilitate links between employers and prospective employees.

Supporting projects leveraged:

  • “Environmental Scan for internationally trained professionals in the biotechnology sector”
  • “Language Support and Biotechnology Sector Orientation”

Objective: To create online tools for employers and IEPs to show them how and where integration can begin, plus provide specific bio-economy language instruction. In addition, connecting the tools with existing resources to provide employers and IEPs with a comprehensive picture of resources available to them.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program.  

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Workplace Skills Development for Foreign Trained Professionals
March 2007 to February 2009

Industry need: In 2007 BioTalent Canada conducted an environmental scan of internationally educated professionals (IEPs) in Canada's biotechnology sector. It was determined that there are four imperatives for harnessing the talents of internationally educated professionals:

  1. Canadian experience;
  2. English competency and cultural integration into the biotechnology business environment;
  3. Practical assessment of skills and confirmation of experience; and
  4. An industry broker to facilitate links between employers and prospective employees.

Supporting Project: Environmental Scan for Internationally Trained Professionals in the Biotechnology Sector

Objectives:

  • To accurately recognize individual skills to create the best match with employers in an efficient and reliable manner;
  • To help the bio-economy accurately and easily confirm talent when recruiting; and
  • To collect knowledge on an ongoing basis regarding Canada’s pool of bio-economy talent to effectively match skilled professionals with appropriate employment and learning opportunities.

Resulting product:

The project developed the recognition model being implemented through the BioSkills Recognition Program project.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program.  

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Language Support and Biotechnology Sector Orientation
October 2006 to March 2008

Industry need: In 2007 BioTalent Canada conducted an environmental scan of internationally educated professionals (IEPs) in Canada's biotechnology sector. It was determined that there are four imperatives for harnessing the talents of internationally educated professionals:

  1. Canadian experience;
  2. English competency and cultural integration into the biotechnology business environment;
  3. Practical assessment of skills and confirmation of experience; and
  4. An industry broker to facilitate links between employers and prospective employees.

Objective: To create online resources to enlighten internationally educated professionals and those wishing to enter the bio-economy about the diversity of the Canadian biotechnology industry, explain the language of biotechnology and highlight aspects to the work environment.

Preceding projects leveraged:

  • “Environmental Scan for Internationally Trained Professionals in the Biotechnology Sector”
  • “Learning Advanced Essential Skills Online”

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program.  

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Learning Advanced Essential Skills Online
April 2006 – June 2008

Industry need: Essential skills are the skills needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change. Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine Essential Skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways and at different levels of complexity. The nine identified Essential Skills are: Reading Text, Document Use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral Communication, Working with Others, Continuous Learning, Thinking Skills and Computer Use.

Objective: Two of these skills were identified as key for biotechnology - Document Use and Thinking Skills, As a result, BioTalent Canada, in partnership with the University of Guelph, developed online tools to:

  • Promote a better understanding of the importance of these skills in the biotechnology industry
  • Increase knowledge about how having these skills can contribute to a more productive and better quality biotechnology workforce
  • Enable users to reflect on their own essential skill levels in biotechnology

Funded by the Ontario Council of Universities.

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Transferable Skills Projects

Manufacturing Skills Transfer
(BioManufacturing)

December 2009 to March 2013

Industry need: BioTalent Canada’s “Generating opportunity” report identified that small companies in small towns find it hardest to attract and retain skilled, experienced workers. Enticing people to relocate to a rural area can be challenging—especially if the available jobs are highly specialized, because this effectively limits alternative employment options in case of job loss. Adequately competitive wages and upward mobility are not always easy to offer. One solution to this is to transition workers already living in rural areas from their traditional industries into the bioenergy, biofuels and industrial biotechnology subsectors. The recent economic upheaval has left many in the manufacturing sector unemployed: with skills enhancement, these individuals could be excellent candidates for work in the bio-economy. The challenge for small firms then becomes one of accessing the right tools or programs to assist with transitioning those workers into their subsectors.

Supporting project leveraged: Bioenergy / biofuels / industrial situational analyses

Objective:                  

  1. Develop and pilot a model to transition displaced workers from traditional manufacturing to biomanufacturing.
  2. Develop and pilot tools for on the job assessments and training on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) to ensure a smooth transition process as well as building a foundation for skills development and assessments for small and medium biomanufacturing enterprises.

Resulting products and services:

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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International Medical Skills Transfer
(BioSkills Transfer II – Medical Specialists)

November 2009 to February 2012

Industry need: Often internationally educated medical professionals such as physicians, veterinarians and nurses have to wait years to receive their certification or they may not receive it at all leaving them to work in “survivor” jobs. These professionals have valuable skills they can transfer to the bio-economy workforce where these skills are in demand.

Objective: To develop resources to help internationally educated medical specialists, who are in the process of or who have not obtained certification or licensure by a regulatory body, to transfer their skills to the bio-economy workforce.

Preceding project leveraged: Medical Laboratory Technologist Skills Transfer”

Resulting products:

These products have allowed internationally educated medical professionals have their transferable skills identified and recognized so they can transition into bio-economy workforce by using the BioSkills Transfer Tool and BioSkills Recognition Program.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program. 

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Medical Laboratory Technologist Skills Transfer 

(CSMLS BioSkills Transfer)
December 2008  to December  2009

Industry need: Often internationally educated medical laboratory professionals have to wait years to receive their certification or they may not receive it at all. These professionals have valuable skills they can transfer to the bio-economy workforce where these skills are in demand.

Objective: To assist internationally educated medical laboratory professionals who are in the process or have not been successful in obtaining certification by the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) transfer their skills into the Canadian bio-economy workforce.

Preceding project leveraged:

  • “Bio-economy Skills Profiles I”
  • “Workplace Skills Development for Foreign Trained Professionals”

Resulting products:

These products have allowed internationally educated medical laboratory professionals to have their transferable skills identified and recognized so they can transition into bio-economy workforce by using the BioSkills Transfer Tool and BioSkills Recognition Program. This project provided the foundation for the International Medical Skills Transfer project.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition Program. 

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Skills Information and Development

Skills Profiles II
February 2009 to January 2012

Industry need: Biotechnology’s fusion of science and business creates unique requirements for occupations in the sector. Executives and managers must have technical expertise; technical staff often need entrepreneurial skill sets. Finding people with the full package for a specific position can be challenging for employers. For these reasons, occupational descriptions from other sources don’t exactly fit the bio-economy context.

Objective: To create occupational profiles for the following key positions that are unique to the industry: Quality Assurance Manager, Biofuels Plant Manager, Animal Care Manager, Contract Manufacturing Project Manager, Clinical Research Data Manager, and Bioinformatician.

Supporting projects leveraged:

  • “Labour Market Information for the Biotechnology Industry”
  • “Bioenergy / biofuels / industrial situational analyses”
  • “Bio-economy Skills Profile I”

Resulting products:

  • Bio-economy Skills Profiles and Summary Tools
  • BioTalent HR Tool Kit version 2 – updated to include how to integrate the Bio-economy Skills Profiles into HR programs

These practical products provide invaluable skills information and hands-on tools to employers, job seekers and students to assist them with HR planning and skills development. The Bio-economy Skills Profiles are integrated into the BioSkills Recognition Program so users can easy identify the skills they would like recognized by industry.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Bio-Education
August  2009 – January 2010

Background: Typically, learning about biotechnology is usually found in specialized courses at the senior level in science or in technology education. However, understanding biotechnology is not the sole domain of any subject discipline or the senior grades. Educators needed resources to support biotechnology education in grade 7 to 12 to demonstrate the opportunities of entering the bio-economy workforce.

Objective: To create, in partnership with the Toronto District School Board, a Biotechnology Learning Continuum to assist teachers in delivering biotechnology knowledge.

Result: Biotechnology Learning Continuum: Teacher’s Tool - Biotechnology Learning Continuum - Grades 7 to 12

This popular tool is a framework to assist educators and curriculum and resource developers in providing Canadian students with opportunities to develop awareness and understanding of biotechnology.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Bio-economy Skills Profiles I
(Development of Skills Profiles for the Biotechnology Industry)

June 2007 to May 2009

Industry need: For Canada's bio-economy potential to be fully realized it is important the human resource requirements are fully understood and supported. Biotechnology’s fusion of science and business creates unique requirements for occupations in the sector. Executives and managers must have technical expertise; technical staff often need entrepreneurial skill sets. Finding people with the full package for a specific position can be challenging for employers. For these reasons, occupational descriptions from other sources don’t exactly fit the bio-economy context.

Objective: To create occupational profiles for the following key positions that are extremely important to the manufacturing and commercialization processes: Chief Executive Officer, Vice President of Manufacturing, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, and/or Intellectual Property Officer.

Preceding Project: “Scoping Out Today’s Biotechnology Industry”

Results:

These tools are integrated into the BioSkills Recognition Program so users can easy identify the skills they would like recognized by industry.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge
1997 to 2011

Industry need: For biotech companies to realize their potential they need a versatile pool of skilled talent from which to draw.

Objective: To encourage high school students to make biotechnology career choices through real life experiences such as mentoring, practical research and competitions.

Results:

This program successfully encouraged a lot of young talent to start a biotechnology career. Additional highlights can be seen in, Experience Biotechnology - The Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge Developing talent for the future” and “Faces of the Future - Fostering the next generation of bio-economy talent” report.

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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Wage Subsidies

Career Focus Program

August 2012 to March 2016

Industry need: Every year, thousands of talented graduates emerge from post-secondary programs that are related directly to the bio-economy—in disciplines such as chemistry, biology, agriculture and human health. Too often, however, these new grads lack the practical skills and professional maturity to step straight into jobs with Canadian biotechnology companies.

Supporting projects leveraged:

  • Career Focus 2005-08
  • Career Focus 2008-09
  • Career Focus 2009-2012

Objective: This project provided practical work experience to post-secondary graduates and will allow them to gain the necessary biotechnology competencies (business and science) through internship in order to secure permanent employment and to contribute to industry competitiveness as a whole. This project benefited the industry by increasing the number of individuals in the biotechnology workforce and benefited individual companies by giving them the opportunity to increase their number of employees.

BioTalent Canada has been successfully running this program for a number of years for past successes of this program please see:

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 

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