BioTalent Canada and CASTL partner to support talent development in Canada’s biomanufacturing sector

The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) and BioTalent Canada have partnered to deliver innovative training as part of CASTL’s new national program Elevate.

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The CASTL Elevate program, funded by Upskill Canada (powered by Palette Skills) and the Government of Canada, is part of the first wave of national partnership programs taking an industry-informed approach to supporting workers in Canada’s fast-growing biomanufacturing sector. Participants will engage in self-directed learning opportunities that include BioTalent Canada’s Essential and Technical Skills Fundamentals, self-directed courses from the CASTL Online Academy, and participate in one week of hands-on training in one of CASTL’s GMP-like biomanufacturing training facilities led by a team of industry-experienced trainers.

"CASTL is a national talent engine focused on developing the highly trained personnel for Canada's fast-growing biomanufacturing sector," says Penny Walsh-McGuire, Executive Director of CASTL. "The CASTL Elevate program provides participants from diverse backgrounds with the essential skills for technician roles in biomanufacturing. We're pleased to work with BioTalent Canada to support our graduates in starting successful careers in life sciences.”

Canada is expected to require an additional 16,140 biomanufacturing workers by 2029, with 5,160 in bio-health manufacturing alone. The current workforce can only fill 25% of these positions. New strategies must be developed to address shortages, such as training workers from other sectors and diversifying the talent pool.

“Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labour force growth, with many newcomers coming with sought-after skills health and bioscience employers are looking for,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “Programs like CASTL Elevate not only offer these talented individuals an inexpensive training opportunity to strengthen their skills and experience, but also alleviate many organizations’ concerns when recruiting from a talent pool without “Canadian experience.”

The six-week CASTL Elevate program will develop the skills of up to 400 new biomanufacturing workers with the in-demand technical and essential skills training for careers in this innovative sector. In addition, participants will benefit from professional development, job search coaching, networking opportunities, and have ability to host their resumés through BioTalent’s BioSkills Recognition Program to help them find careers in the biomanufacturing sector upon graduation.

For more information on how you can participate or learn more about the program, visit


The Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) is a national skills and training organization formed to address the talent needs of the Canadian life sciences sector. Specializing in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, CASTL delivers on the economic and sectoral demand for individuals who have the technical skills to enter, thrive and meet the needs of the fast-growing Canadian biomanufacturing industry. With GMP-like biomanufacturing training facilities in Charlottetown, PE, Montreal, QC and Vancouver, BC (opening Fall 2024), CASTL provides industry informed practical hands-on training, theoretical knowledge and e-learning. CASTL is the exclusive provider of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) licensed training programs in Canada. Based in Ireland, NIBRT develops and delivers state-of-the-art training and education programs for the world’s leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies and partner academic institutions. CASTL is supported by National Lead Partner adMare BioInnovations and its adMare Academy. The adMare Academy provides the specialized training required to foster the next generation of highly qualified personnel who will drive the growth of Canadian life science companies.

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About BioTalent Canada

BioTalent Canada supports the people behind life-changing science. Trusted as the go-to source for labour market intelligence, BioTalent Canada guides bio-economy stakeholders with evidence-based data and industry-driven standards. BioTalent Canada is focused on igniting the industry’s brainpower, bridging the gap between job-ready talent and employers, and ensuring the long-term agility, resiliency, and sustainability of one of Canada’s most vital sectors.

Recently named a Great Place to Work® and Best Workplaces in Healthcare for 2023, by Great Place to Work Canada®, as well as being listed as a Best Workplace by HRD Canada for 2023 and a 5-Star Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Employer by Canadian HR Reporter, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards it recommends to stakeholders. These varied distinctions were awarded to BioTalent Canada following a thorough and independent analysis of the organization.

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