by Ethan Paquet
The PEI BioAlliance is a private sector-led not-for-profit organization dedicated to building the bioscience industry on PEI.
There are 60 bioscience companies across PEI, including Charlottetown, Summerside, Souris, Victoria, and Kensington, which specialize in human health areas such as pharmaceutical and device manufacturing, as well as animal, plant, and fish health products, services, and natural products.
Vivian Beer, Manager, HR Strategy for the PEI BioAlliance, says about 350 jobs are advertised through the BioAlliance each year.
“The bioscience sector is growing to become a key component in the Island economy. Currently, more than 2,200 employees work in this sector. We have just published a strategic plan with a goal to grow that number to 3,000 employees by 2025.
“Some people think all bioscience jobs are based on science, but there is a growing number of administration jobs.” The following is the percentage of jobs that have been advertised within the last year:
- 50 percent Production
- 20 percent Scientist/Research
- 15 percent Quality Assurance/Quality Control
- 15 percent Business Administration
Education and training pathways
As the sector was growing quickly, the PEI BioAlliance realized they would not be able to fill all the open positions, so they made an investment in their future. They created the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) to skill, upskill, and reskill talent for the sector.
CASTL has helped deliver on industry demand by providing world-class training that will result in a rich talent pool of individuals who are work-ready and prepared to enter, thrive, and meet the needs of the Canadian bioscience industry.
CASTL offers technical skills training for those new to the sector as well as those already employed in the sector who are looking to enhance their competencies.
“We developed bioscience academic pathways to allow students entering post-secondary to take academic courses at UPEI, including a minor in Biotechnology. Students can attend the Holland College Bioscience Technology program to learn the more applied aspects of bioscience.
\”This pathway includes two semesters of work-integrated learning at bioscience companies. UPEI and Holland College also offer a joint Bachelor of Science degree. All post-secondary graduates will be ready to successfully move into a bioscience career on PEI.
“We will also be starting the next cohort of our very successful reskilling program, which is another way to get into the industry. The re-skilling program is a 12-week course that includes eight weeks of facilitated learning delivered through Holland College followed by four weeks of on-the-job training with industry employers. This option is open to anyone interested in pursuing a Production Technician career.”
Vivian offered some examples of jobs in the PEI Bioscience community:
- Analytical Chemist
- Research Scientist
- Research Associate/Technician
- Lab Technician
- Quality Assurance/Quality Control roles: QC Chemist, QC Technician/Technologist, QA Associate/Coordinator/Technician
Business administration roles
- HR Manager/Associate/Coordinator
- Business Analyst
- Accounting Manager/Technician
- Sales/Business Development Representative
- Marketing Manager/Associate or Operations Manager
Production job titles
- Process Engineer/Steward/Technician
- Production Technician
- Extraction Technician
- Packaging Associate
- Aquaculture Technician
- Maintenance Technician
- Warehouse/Shipping Technician/Associate
The PEI BioAlliance attracts talent to bioscience companies on PEI by promoting their job postings. Those interested in working in PEI’s bioscience sector can submit a resumé to the Bioscience Resumé Library, where it will be shared with the senior hiring managers of PEI bioscience companies. They will be added to the career news mailing list and will be among the first to hear about job openings.
Vivian also encourages job seekers to reach out to her for help on their journey. “My role is as a navigator to help you find a job in a PEI bioscience company. You can connect with me and we can set up a time to chat online or in person, and you can consult with me on the companies you have a particular interest in. If we think it is a great match, I can give you the right contact for you to pursue and send them your resumé and cover letter.”
For more information about the bioscience sector on PEI and to send your resumé, email email@example.com
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