165 New Graduates Begin Careers in Canada's Bio-economy

OTTAWA, Nov. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - BioTalent Canada today announced that through its national and provincial Career Focus wage subsidy programs it has successfully placed 165 new graduates at over 67 biotechnology companies across Canada in 2015.  The programs will now begin winding down as a result.

BioTalent Canada has managed the federally-funded Career Focus wage subsidy program since 2005, but 165 placements mark the organization's greatest success and highest number of placements in a single year. Thanks to funding from the federal Youth Employment Strategy Program, BioTalent Canada announced this spring that it would launch both a National and an Ontario-specific Career Focus program.  With the Canadian biotech industry experiencing a shortage of skilled labour and employers often lacking the necessary resources to onboard talent in the form of new graduates, BioTalent Canada's 2015-2016 Career Focus programs have been a much-needed form of support for smaller biotechnology companies struggling to compete. 

"For many new graduates, landing a job without work experience is a challenge," said Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. "Without that first job, that critical experience is either delayed or never comes. Wage subsidy programs like Career Focus are critical not just for the growth and development of Canada's bio-economy, but for youth employment as well," he said.

The Career Focus wage subsidy program gives Canadian biotechnology companies up to $20,000 in federal subsidies to help offset the cost of onboarding new graduates that are seeking entrance into the industry.  It offers employers the ability to hire new talent with fresh ideas and innovative ways of thinking, an employee they might not otherwise have been able to afford to orient and train.

"I see the Career Focus Program as a great example where government and business objectives align perfectly, said Jeff Crews, President of Entertech Systems, a Biometrics firm that accessed the 2015 program and engaged new graduate employees as a result. "The wage subsidies have allowed us to make a greater investment in hiring young talented individuals at a pace we would not have been able to do on our own. Furthermore, the team is thrilled to have keen new grads onboard who are excited to take on new challenges," he said.  

Jessica Gagner, a participant in the Career Focus program who became Marketing Manager at Entertech Systems said, "I became familiar with Entertech Systems through a personal connection, and quickly became interested in joining this innovative, high-growth biometrics company. Thankfully, Entertech Systems discovered the Career Focus subsidy program this year, which was instrumental in the company hiring me this past June. I am now a part of a fantastic organization that has had an unparalleled impact on my professional development and career growth," she said.

After successfully placing hundreds of new graduates over several years in their first career position in Canada's bio-economy, in 2015 BioTalent Canada published a special Labour Market Study Opening the Door  as a new source of national data on many aspects of the employment experiences of new graduates, including their average age, education and salary levels of participants. In the past three years, BioTalent Canada has placed 385 new grads in the sector and has disbursed approximately $4.2 million in wage subsidies.  Furthermore, with the addition of this year's provincial program, Ontario biotech businesses were pleased to hire an additional 35 new graduates eager to make their mark.

About BioTalent Canada
BioTalent Canada is the HR partner of Canada's bio-economy. As an HR expert and national non-profit organization, BioTalent Canada focuses on building partnerships and skills for Canada's bio-economy to ensure the industry has access to job-ready people. Through projects, research, and product development, BioTalent Canada connects employers with job seekers, delivers human resource information, and skills development tools so the industry can focus on strengthening Canada's biotech business. For more information, please visit biotalent.ca.


SOURCE BioTalent Canada

Image with caption: "Jessica Gagner, Career Focus program participant and Marketing Manager at Entertech Systems. (CNW Group/BioTalent Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151104_C2910_PHOTO_EN_536496.jpg

For further information: Media inquiries: Fiorella Jansen-Nicorescu, Marketing & Communications Manager, BioTalent Canada, 613-235-1402 ext. 229, fnicorescu@biotalent.ca


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