Technology is rapidly changing our industries and it is hard to keep up. Careers in agriculture account for one of every eight jobs, and the number is increasing. There are 57 bioscience companies on PEI with over 1,600 employees.
A professional development day put current resources, information and experiences into the hands and minds of Island teachers, so that they will be able to share this much-needed information with their students.
PEI BioAlliance and PEI Agriculture Sector Council (PEIAgSC) co-hosted the Annual Agriculture Teachers’ PD Day, where teachers participated in presentations and company tours.
Canadian Educator Matrix- AgSC
Sandra Hodder of PEIAgSC introduced the teachers to the newly launched Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC) Canadian Educator Matrix. “This exciting online tool is a one-stop shop for teachers looking for curriculum-linked agriculture education resources,” says Sandra.
“One resource is Planet X: ‘Out of this world’ opportunities in agriculture and food. Students gain knowledge of the multitude of professions in agriculture, while understanding the importance of everyday food production and sustainability.
For more about the AITC Canadian Educator Matrix, visit www.aitc-canada.ca/en-ca/for-educators/curriculum-linked-resources.
Careers in Agriculture video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xitgjElecd4&feature=youtu.be.
The cluster of companies & careers in Bioscience – PEI BioAlliance
Vivian Beer says PEI is the location of choice for companies engaged in the research, development, and commercialization of bioactive-based human, animal, and fish health and nutrition and cosmetic products.
“Since 2005, the PEI Bioscience cluster has more than tripled in size, with remarkable growth in business revenues and employment, and there has been a marked increase in private and public-sector investments in our companies.
“PEI currently has 57 bioscience companies, with over 1,600 employees and several research institutions, and is home to Emergence, Canada’s virtual bioscience business incubator, as well as Natural Products Canada.
“We are living in interesting times, with work settings requiring a cross section of skillsets to stay on top of advances in technology.
“Scientists, marketers, software developers, agricultural producers, as well as the aquaculture, fishery, and culinary industries all need to be aware of each other’s backgrounds, because they often work together.
“PEI companies in this sector range from small to large with about 350 staff. The companies are growing and require more staff. One company was just awarded a new contract, and they need 40 more staff in the near future.
“It is all about networking and spreading the word about career opportunities with good salaries on PEI. Preparing people for these future jobs is the challenge. We are working on improving the awareness of the options, and we collaborate with secondary and post-secondary education to discuss and promote the skills required by industries today and in the future.
“The PEI BoAlliance website posted over 200 jobs in 2018, which is double the number posted in 2017. Job seekers can join our email list and receive a notification when a job is posted.”
The educational requirements of jobs posted range from PhD, to Bachelor of Science, to college diplomas. Most Holland College Bioscience Technology program graduates are hired locally. Also available is an articulated degree option whereby students can combine Holland College and UPEI credits to earn a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology.
BioFutures Program – PEI BioAlliance & PEI 4H
The teachers were also told about a delivery model that can be accessed by students or other groups. The BioFutures program offers students the opportunity to learn about bioscience companies and take part in hands-on learning experiences to gain insight into the various career options on PEI. Careers can relate to agriculture, nutritional products, and human, animal and fish health. The program also offers an inside look at what bioscience companies on PEI are producing and the many professionals working at these companies.
Steve Howatt, Vice Chair of PEI BioAlliance and President of Atlantic AgriTech Inc., explained that a group of 4-H members and UPEI students have used the BioFutures program. “Some 4-H members had never heard of a career in food science. One youth really was interested and is now exploring the possibility.
“Our world is changing and there are so many choices now. For instance, farmers are using equipment such as GPS systems and robotic milkers, which is the type of new technology that reflects current career choices we need to introduce to our youth.
“Agriculture and Bioscience companies on PEI are open to introducing the public to what they do, and they are especially interested in promoting their field as a viable career choice. The field is growing and the employment options are many.”
For more information about careers in Bioscience, contact Vivian Beer, PEI BioAlliance, at 902-367-4407 or email [email protected].
Visit www.peibioalliance.com for a list of job postings.
For more information about careers in Agriculture, call PEI AGSC at 902-892-1091. Visit www.peiagsc.ca.