U of T Mississauga to offer biotechnology program for newcomers to Canada

Thursday, November 26, 2009 - 8:44am

The University of Toronto Mississauga, in partnership with U of T's School of Continuing Studies and AstraZeneca Canada Inc., will offer a program in biotechnology for internationally trained professionals, beginning in January 2010.

On Nov. 25 at AstraZeneca Canada Inc, the provincial government announced $2.5 million to fund the new Pathways to Employment in Biotechnology bridge training program. The program will offer an intensive 12-week certificate in Canadian Biotechnology Enterprise to bridge highly trained immigrants in life sciences and technologies to employment in Mississauga, Canada's third largest biotech industry cluster. Participants will take courses in biotechnology, occupation-specific language training, and workplace culture and communications training. The program will also offer employment services, mentoring and personal coaching.

The University of Toronto Mississauga is uniquely positioned to play a significant role in the Pathways program, says Vice-President and Principal Ian Orchard of U of T Mississauga. Instructors from our successful Masters of Biotechnology program will be working with experienced workplace culture and communications instructors from continuing studies to deliver a robust curriculum at the headquarters of one of Mississauga's top pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca Canada Inc. The graduates of this program will help Ontario meet its growing needs and remain at the forefront of the global biotechnology industry.

Marilynn Booth, director of the School of Continuing Studies, notes the bridging program demonstrates the pivotal role that universities play in training the next generation of highly-skilled professional.
The Pathways program will respond to needs in the current biotechnology industry and create an employment-ready business-minded pool of highly trained immigrants with scientific backgrounds, says Michael Chan, minister of citizenship and immigration. Investments in bridge training for newcomers help Ontario respond to a growing demand for skilled labour and positions our economy to be competitive on a global scale.

Ontario's bridge training programs help newcomers link their international credentials and experience to provincial standards. The government has funded over 180 of these programs which help skilled newcomers become licensed and obtain work in their field.