OTTAWA, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– The bio-economy, a burgeoning sector of the Canadian Prairies economy, is poised to create jobs, but the current pipeline for those positions is largely empty.
This was the conclusion of an unprecedented labour market study by BioTalent Canada released this fall. Today, the organization released eight reports that unpack the current landscape, trends, challenges, and opportunities facing each region.
The report on the Prairies – including Manitoba and Saskatchewan – concludes the region is likely to require another 3,400 bio-economy workers by 2029. However, current estimates indicate there will not be enough workers to meet labour needs. The Prairies will be challenged to fill positions due a highly competitive labour market and difficulty finding candidates with the right skills.
The reports note that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant gaps in the Canadian bio-economy, notably in bio-manufacturing and processing capacity, which saw Canada initially unable to produce sufficient protective equipment and having no domestic capacity to develop and manufacture vaccines. Commitments have been made to build facilities to remedy this, but those facilities will require skilled people to operate them – a supply of talent that does not currently exist.
Estimates suggest the Prairies will need an additional 800 bio-manufacturing workers by 2029, with the agri-bio sector requiring the largest share (41%), followed by bio-health and bio-industrial, each accounting for 20-25% of the need. The report also predicts only 25% of those available positions will be fillable by predicted supply during this period.
“To fill the shortages, the bio-economy will need to develop new strategies,” says BioTalent President and CEO Rob Henderson. “In the Prairies, this could include broadening the talent pool and focusing on attracting recent immigrants, Indigenous workers and workers with disabilities. And even though the Prairies has Canada’s highest percentage of women working in its bio-economy, there’s an opportunity to promote the industry as a viable career path among them as well.”
Other notable findings in the Prairies regional analysis:
For additional information and to read the full reports, visit: biotalent.ca/lmistudy.
Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program.
About BioTalent Canada
BioTalent Canada supports the people behind life-changing science. Trusted as the go-to source for labour market intelligence, BioTalent Canada guides bio-economy stakeholders with evidence-based data and industry-driven standards. BioTalent Canada is focused on igniting the industry’s brainpower bridging the gap between job-ready talent and employers and ensuring the long-term agility, resiliency, and sustainability of one of Canada’s most vital sectors. Recently named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada with 10-50 employees and certified as a Great Place to Work® for 2021, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards it recommends to its stakeholders. These distinctions were awarded to BioTalent Canada following a thorough and independent survey analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.
For more information, please visit biotalent.ca.
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Rob Henderson is available for comment.