OTTAWA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#HR–BioTalent Canada applauds the renewed commitment and investments made to skills in the country’s biotech and healthcare sectors in Budget 2023.

The $197.7 million in the budget that has been allocated to Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) in fiscal year 2024-25 will help particularly to stem a shortfall of 65,000 workers that are needed to sustain this country’s biotechnology and healthcare sectors.

While the successful federal program has not been made permanent, its continuation will be pivotal to getting Canada’s small and medium-sized biotech employers the talent they require.

“The continuity of the Student Work Placement Program is sorely needed,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “The funds will help encourage young talent to enter an industry that remains an engine of the Canadian economy. The next step that should be taken as soon as possible is to make the program a permanent fixture in Canada’s national skills and training strategy,” he said.

Canadians saw first-hand the importance of the biotechnology sector during the Covid-19 pandemic as cutting-edge bioscience organizations led the development of lifesaving vaccines and therapeutics. Student internships will remain an essential part of the national talent strategy if the industry continues on its path to bring vaccine biomanufacturing back to Canada.

Despite its critical importance to the economy and society, Canada’s biotech industry faces a shortage of skilled workers. By 2029, that shortfall is expected to exceed 65,000 biotech workers nationwide.

BioTalent Canada has been working to alleviate this deficit through its participation in the Student Work Placement Program, having placed more than 11,000 students with leading biotechnology and healthcare organizations since 2017.

Students who participate in the program gain valuable training and workplace learning, while participating companies get access to bright minds and the leaders of tomorrow. Statistics indicate that the SWPP has been a win-win for both students and employers.

Surveys also show that SWPP is helping to drive innovation and economic growth throughout Canada, and ensuring all Canadians live healthier lives through bio-health innovations and new medical treatments. This is at a time when the federal government is investing heavily to bring the domestic production of vaccines back to Canada. Thirty percent (30%) of employers would not have created the positions without support from the Student Work Placement Program, while 40% of organizations were unsure whether the position would have been created at all.

BioTalent Canada’s Biosciences and Healthcare Student Work Placement Program has also contributed to the health of Canadians, notably with the advancement of clean technologies through the bio-energy and agri-bio sub-sectors.

The new money allocated in Budget 2023 ensures that BioTalent Canada can continue creating quality work integrated learning opportunities for students, and that they will continue to gain important real-life work experience that is needed for them to transition into the workforce.

“SWPP has helped position young talent for success in their chosen field,” says Henderson. “We are pleased to see this recognized this and the importance of continuing to grow Canada’s biotech sector prioritized.”

Rob Henderson is available for comment on Budget 2023.

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 under 50 employees, a Best Workplaces™ for Mental Wellness, Healthcare, and a Great Place to Work® for 2022, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards it recommends to stakeholders. These distinctions were awarded to BioTalent Canada following a thorough and independent survey analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.

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