OTTAWA, Nov. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Belinda Stronach, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, today announced that the Government of Canada will provide $696,000 through the Sector Council Program, to support the development of Canada's skilled work force in the biotechnology sector.
"To ensure the success of our economy in the 21st century, we must invest in the skills of workers in our most innovative sectors. Biotechnology is one such sector where there is rapid development and where our labour force must keep pace with workers in competing countries," said Minister Stronach. "Today's announcement will help ensure our success."
The Biotechnology Human Resource Council (BHRC) will receive funding to promote a skilled work force in this sector. The BHRC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada's pool of biotechnology talent. The BHRC designs, distributes, and promotes programs and services of value to Canada's biotechnology industry. The programs and services that it provides help to attract, develop and retain a highly skilled Canadian biotechnology work force.
"In general, landing that first job is challenging enough, and the biotechnology industry is no different," said Colette Rivet, the BHRC's Executive Director. "That's why it's so important to offer programs such as this one to industry, so that it can afford to offer employment opportunities and valuable work experience to young Canadians. It is truly a win-win situation for all! As this program has seen tremendous demand and uptake from both industry and career seekers over the years, we are very pleased that it has been extended until 2008."
Sector councils successfully meet emerging skills requirements by addressing skills and labour shortages, and building essential skills in the workplace as a foundation for continuous learning. These organizations bring together business, labour and educational stakeholders in key industries to identify and address common human resources and skills issues, and to find solutions that benefit the sector. They are instrumental in making sure that workers already employed and those seeking employment are well prepared for the challenges of the rapidly evolving labour market.
There are currently 31 sector councils representing traditional industries (such as mining and textiles) and emerging industries (such as biotechnology and the environment). The sector council network now covers approximately 48 percent of the labour market. The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening and expanding the network of sector councils so that more Canadian workers benefit from them.
Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 federal Budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.
This project has been reviewed to ensure its compliance with the Department's administration of its grant and contribution programs, and it is subject to review under the Financial Administration Act.
For details, see the backgrounder below.
Government of Canada provides $696,000 to address skills shortages in the biotechnology sector.
Sector Council Description of Project Funding
Biotechnology BHRC Career Focus - This project will $696,000 Human Resource enable the BHRC to address skills Council shortages in biotechnology-related positions by increasing the supply of qualified new entrants to the labour force.