Lab Canada

Employment program aimed at biotech industry

Ottawa, ON – January 16, 2004 – The Biotechnology Human Resource Council (BHRC) says it is launching a new wage-subsidy program called Career Focus. Aimed at creating employment opportunities for new graduates in biotechnology, the work experience program is funded by the federal government’s Youth Employment Strategy.

The core offering of the program is a wage subsidy that offsets part of the cost of staffing a new biotech position. Subsidies will cover approximately one third of salaries paid out to participants for a minimum 6-month period ($10,635 maximum subsidy for a 12-month period).

Many companies say they have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly a recent graduate can become an integral part of their workforce. Cedarlane Laboratories, for example, was able “to hire someone with the appropriate qualifications without having the initial high salary costs,” according to company spokesperson, Eddie Johnson. “This is the third time we have used this program. Each time, we have had an excellent employee who was able to more than fulfill their duties.”

Biotechnology company Biophage has limited financial resources, but with the BHRC’s financial support, says it has been able to forge ahead with its development plan and create new jobs in the technology field. “We owe BHRC a great debt of thanks,” says Lucie St-Georges, the company’s VP and CFO.

More information on the program is available at the BHRC’s website at