Life Sciences BC Launches Labour Market Study of Jobs and Skills Needed for BC’s Growing Life Sciences Sector

Project will provide a greater understanding of the BC life sciences landscape, underpinning future workforce dynamics and labour market needs

VANCOUVER, British Columbia--()--A new labour market intelligence (LMI) study that will help provide a better understanding of the jobs and skills employers are looking for is underway for BC’s dynamic life sciences sector. The project is led by Life Sciences British Columbia (LSBC) with funding provided through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement as part of the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

The study will result in an up-to-date BC life sciences workforce profile; five-year labour demand and supply forecasts; skills training assessment; gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) data; and recommendations for sector-led strategies. The findings will be beneficial to sector organizations, and those that work with them including post-secondary institutions and government, who are seeking to address labour challenges and make investment decisions.

“BC’s life sciences sector is innovative, growing and is a significant part of the province’s economic recovery and growth, while also supporting health care needs,” says Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “This project will support this growth through engaging with people in the sector to understand labour market needs and develop a skills training assessment and map of available and needed training to current and future labour force needs.”

“BC is home to the fastest-growing life sciences sector in the country, with BC companies earning international praise for their work on treatments, technologies, and vaccines,” says Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery, and Innovation. “This study will help support the growth of this important sector as we take the next steps to bolster our province’s economic future and build a StrongerBC.”

“BC’s life sciences sector has been on a growth trajectory for the last several years, and our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted worldwide interest in our innovation and capabilities,” says Wendy Hurlburt, President and CEO of Life Sciences BC. “The LMI project is a comprehensive tool that will leverage thorough research and consultation to create understanding of current and future workforce dynamics and labour market needs under different scenarios. This data will support our sector in its ability to plan and sustain growth.”

The study is expected to take 11-months with input and oversight provided through a strong governance committee comprising industry, academic, and government members. Stakeholder engagement is a critical success factor, and will include focus groups, surveys, interviews, as well as collaboration with BioTalent Canada.

Life Sciences British Columbia (LSBC) is a member-based not-for profit, industry association that advocates, supports, and represents BC’s life sciences community provincially, nationally, and globally. Through numerous initiatives LSBC plays a large role in facilitating investment and collaborations, increasing awareness of BC as a centre for excellence for life sciences, and shaping the trajectory of the sector.

The Sector Labour Market Partnerships program helps industry and employers understand and respond to labour market changes, and provides funding to organizations within an economic sector, region, or population, to develop projects that help respond to workforce challenges.

Quick Facts:

  • The Sector Labour Market Partnership between the Province and industry will be led by Life Sciences BC with funding support from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.
  • BC is home to the fastest-growing life sciences sector in Canada with more than 2,000 companies employing 18,000 British Columbians working on innovations and research to improve health-care delivery around the world.
  • Made-in-BC life sciences products include rapid diagnostic tests for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and Ebola; protein therapeutics for treating cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases; and the first FDA-approved oral medication for treating adult patients with active lupus nephritis. BC scientists and companies played a key role in COVID-19 vaccine development.
  • BC is home to three of Canada’s largest biotech companies, STEMCELL Technologies, AbCellera Biologics, and Aurinia Pharmaceuticals; and Canada’s largest medical device company, Starfish Medical.



Julia Smith