OTTAWA, ON-BioTalent Canada has released Paving the Way, its latest labour market report.
Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Labour Market Integration Program, the report surveyed skilled newcomers, immigrant serving agencies (ISAs) and employers, and makes recommendations on how internationally educated professionals (IEPs) can better connect to jobs in Canada’s bio-economy.
Among the report’s key findings was that internationally educated professionals arrive with the knowledge and skills needed by Canada’s bio-economy, with 67.6 per cent of those surveyed reporting having a minimum of a master’s degree and over half (56.8 per cent) indicating that they have worked in biotech industry prior to immigrating to Canada. And yet the report also found that many talented newcomers continue to have their skills and experience overlooked by hiring managers.
Rob Henderson, president and CEO of BioTalent Canada, believe this trend is quite troubling.
“The most common skills IEPs possess are those that are most needed by Canada’s bio-economy,” says Henderson. “We’re a sector that struggles with access to talent, so it’s crucial for businesses to recognize newcomers as an important talent pool.”
Additionally, the report highlights some of the obstacles hindering internationally educated professionals from entering into Canada’s biotechnology sector workforce. According to the report, the greatest challenges facing IEPs include IEPs finding jobs in their own field (51.9%) and their lack of Canadian experience (46.5%).
The report offers specific recommendations to improve the plight of skilled newcomers, using training and networking offered by Canada’s numerous immigrant serving agencies. Additionally the report suggests that pre-screening for education experience validation may be a solution for skilled IEPs to connect to employers with biotechnology employers that were surveyed supporting the concept of having access to pre-screened candidates. Moreover, a skills validation process would be an effective method of fast-tracking newcomers to biotech jobs in Canada.
“Newcomers who access the services of Canada’s ISAs already have a distinct advantage,” says Henderson. “Biotech employers told us that a skills validation process that could be accessed through those ISAs would be an effective method of fast-tracking newcomers to biotech jobs.”
The report was sponsored by industry associations from across the country including: BioNB, BIOQuébec, BIOTECanada, Life Science Association of Manitoba (LSAM), LifeSciences BC, PEI BioAlliance, Bio Business Magazine and the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council (CRIEC).
The full report is available online, to download a copy or view it, visit biotalent.ca/PavingtheWay.