Canada short on biotech workers

Canada's biotech sector is growing, but the country is struggling to find enough "job-ready" candidates. That's according to a new report from BioTalent Canada, which finds that the country is having trouble attracting and retaining biotech workers. The good news is that Canada's biotech sector is on the rise and has grown 77 percent since 1988, with small companies (under 50 employees) making up 80 percent of the industry. However, without experienced workers, these small companies will have trouble attracting venture investments, which could stifle the whole industry.

Colette Rivet, executive director for BioTalent, said the manner in which Canadian higher learning institutions are training students isn't preparing them for work in the industry. "What we're finding is a lot of the universities are training them more for academia than for the private world," said Rivet. "It's a very different kind of environment in the private world. You have to be entrepreneurial. You have to be able to wear different hats. You have to have business sense. You know, the innovative approach to things, it's very different from academia." Rivet recommended greater support from provincial governments in the form of more taxpayer dollars invested in the industry.

- see this report for more