OTTAWA, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– The bio-economy, a vital sector of the Ontario economy, is poised to create jobs, but the current pipeline for those positions is three-quarters 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 Ontario — and an accompanying report on the Greater Toronto Area — conclude the region will require another 24,500 bio-economy workers by 2029. However, current estimates indicate there will not be enough people to meet labour demands, and significant pressure exists now and will mount throughout the decade. Ontario companies will be challenged to fill positions due in part to a highly competitive labour market and an ongoing lack of capital to attract and retain candidates.
The reports note that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed significant gaps in the Canadian bio-economy, particularly 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. Efforts to close this gap could be hampered by a lack of qualified labour, especially in a province like Ontario seeking to expand its manufacturing sector.
Estimates suggest Ontario will need an additional 5,820 bio-manufacturing workers by 2029 (2,170 in bio-health manufacturing alone) even without considering expansion growth due to recently announced investments. Only 25% of those positions will be fillable by predicted supply during this period.
“Naturally, as the country’s largest region, the talent need is greatest in Ontario,” says BioTalent President and CEO Rob Henderson. “The industry has to develop new strategies focused on breaking down barriers to entry for recent immigrants, Indigenous workers and workers with disabilities — all of whom are seriously under-represented in the bio-economy today. That starts with improving human resources capacity and practices within bio-economy companies.”
Other notable findings in the Ontario regional analysis:
Sub-regional differences in economic conditions impact on bio-economy activity in those areas of the province. Some of the more notable trends in sub-regions of Ontario:
Greater Toronto Area
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.