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Canadian Biotech Firms Look to Unemployed Manufacturing Workers to Fill Jobs

BioTalent Canada was in Kitchener / Waterloo today (Feb. 8) launching an on-line skills transfer tool designed to assist unemployed manufacturing workers in gauging their readiness to work in biomanufacturing.

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New "BioReady™" On-Line Tool Offers Hope for Unemployed Manufacturing Workers

KITCHENER-WATERLOO, ON, Feb. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - BioTalent Canada, a national organization that addresses skills and human resources issues to ensure the bio-economy has access to job-ready people, was in Kitchener / Waterloo today launching an on-line skills transfer tool designed to assist unemployed manufacturing workers in gauging their readiness to work in biomanufacturing.

Speaking to a group of industry and business leaders in Kitchener / Waterloo today, Rob Henderson, Executive Director of BioTalent Canada, said that unemployed manufacturing workers are missing employment opportunities because they're unaware that their skills may match those of bio-manufacturers.

"Our research shows that many traditional manufacturing skills are transferable to the biomanufacturing field. But unemployed workers simply do not know this," said Henderson. "Today we've launched an on-line evaluation tool that can start them on a process towards quality employment in the biomanufacturing field."

Traditional manufacturing and biomanufacturing have a lot in common. Areas where required skills overlap include:

  • Machinery and equipment installation
  • Resources monitoring and control
  • Machinery and equipment operation
  • Mechanical equipment maintenance and repair

"With many workers in transition to new opportunities, we welcome the BioTalent Canada initiative and encourage manufacturers and unemployed workers to take advantage of it. The on-line skills tool represents a creative, new approach for job seekers in our Region," said Carol Simpson, Executive Director of the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin.

The process of transferring skills from traditional manufacturing to biomanufacturing is so extensive that BioTalent Canada has collaborated with industry to create a "BioReady™" label for workers once they are verified as fitting the criteria. Individuals who wish to access the on-line skills transfer tool should visit the BioTalent Canada web site at

Representatives of BioTalent Canada were in the Kitchener/ Waterloo and Guelph areas conducting information sessions on the new skills transfer tool announced today. Local employment agencies are the first in Canada to receive the training.

BioTalent Canada plans to roll out the skills transfer program in other parts of Canada later this year. The goal is to use the new program to fill 100 positions in the biomanufacturing sector by the end of 2012.

Canadian biotechnology companies are currently suffering from a nation-wide skills shortage. BioTalent Canada is working with the industry on a range of potential solutions.