by Heidi Riley
The Island’s bioscience sector is involved in the research, development and commercialization of bioactive-based products for human, animal, and fish health and nutrition.
Examples of jobs in Bioscience include Research Scientists, Lab Technicians, Quality Control Managers/Technicians, Chemical Process Engineers/Operators, Maintenance Technicians, Production Technicians, and business administration roles that include the areas of finance/accounting, HR, and sales.
The PEI BioAlliance is dedicated to building the bioscience industry on PEI by working collaboratively with partners to create a unique environment that promotes excellence in research and provides strong leadership and business support to companies at all stages.
“PEI’s Bioscience sector has 60 companies and more than 2,000 employees working across PEI,” says Vivian Beer, Manager, HR Strategy. “That employment number has grown steadily from 450 employees in 2005. In 2019, we advertised about 350 jobs, and despite COVID-19, we will likely exceed that number this year.”
The PEI BioAlliance website lists the bioscience companies on PEI that work in areas such as human and animal health, fish health, industrial products, plant health, and natural products.
“Before COVID-19 hit, networking events were held regularly,” says Vivian. “Now, we hold virtual events which are recorded with links available for later viewing. Events give a good overview of some of the companies, their expansion plans, and the types of roles they are hiring for and the talent they wish to attract.”
Job categories on PEI
17 percent – Science Research: For example, Lab Technician, Research Associate, or Research Technician. “Qualifications needed may include Bachelor of Science, Masters, PhD, or Holland College BioTechnology diploma,” says Vivian.
15 percent – Quality Assurance, Quality Control: For example, Quality Control Chemist or Validation Technician. “These positions are often in high demand and are often a challenge to fill.”
52 percent – Production: “Experience working in production and a background in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) stands out in this sector.”
12 percent – Administration: “Business Administration skills are in demand. For example, there is currently a shortage of accounting skills.”
4 percent – Students
What companies look for when hiring
“Companies are looking for the ability to problem solve, good judgment, excellent communication and teamwork skills,” says Vivian. “An understanding of Standard Operating Procedures, Good Manufacturing Practices, and writing capability are also important.”
How to find a job in bioscience
- Contact Vivian Beer at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to join the mailing list to receive up-to-date job listings.
- Apply for jobs listed. “If you don’t hear from the company, don’t be discouraged. Be persistent.”
- Send Vivian your resumé. She will add it to the BioAlliance resumé library and share it with PEI employers, many of whom check the library before advertising positions.
- Vivian will also take a look at your resumé and have a phone conversation with you to identify the best job matches.
- Check out the latest news to find which companies are growing and expanding.
- BioTalent Canada has a bioskills recognition program that can identify where you fit in the bioscience economy.
- BioTalent Canada also offers courses such as Essential Skills that bioscience companies are looking for.
- The Canadian Alliance for Skills Training in Lifesciences (CASTL) is a first-of-its kind partnership between academia, industry, and government to address the future skills needs of the Canadian life sciences sector. CASTL offers multiple applied learning streams and pathways for individuals to acquire the academic knowledge and technical and professional skills to have a successful career in life sciences.
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