Sector Spotlight: Health & Biosciences

Healthcare worker

The Durham Region health and biosciences sector encompasses a variety of businesses, including medical research, development of pharmaceuticals, digital health, precision medicine, development and manufacturing of medical health devices with technological elements such as artificial intelligence, and the healthcare system itself.

The health and biosciences industry generate significant economic growth annually, representing 11 percent of Canada’s annual GDP in 2016 (Government of Canada, 2018a). In order to remain globally competitive and promote an innovation economy with better health outcomes, Canada must engage in health research and digital technologies to boost economic productivity, enable the commercialization of technologies and strengthen the national health system.

Health and bioscience are a growth sector and a major employer across Durham Region. The sector depends on several allied and sub sectors to support growth such as life science, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, regional healthcare, post-secondary institutions and multimodal transportation. This cross-sectoral approach supports sub-sectors by utilizing resources and existing partnerships.

Highlights of the Durham Sector:

  • The largest proportion of health and bioscience sector jobs in the Durham Region belong to registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, representing 3175 employed persons
  • The highest paying positions are from the industry are ‘Other ambulatory health care services’, consisting of ambulance services and other services related to emergency medical care. The majority of employed workers in the Region in this sector are working in hospitals
  • There are over 2000 businesses relevant to the health and biosciences sector in the Durham Region, with the majority having less than four employees. Most businesses in this sector are from ambulatory health care services, representing direct or indirect healthcare services to ambulatory patients, such as physicians, dentists and medical laboratories.
  • When examining the health and biosciences sector in Durham Region by industry, nearly 97 percent of employees have a certificate, diploma or degree. Nearly 44 percent of employees have a college diploma or equivalent, while nearly 33 percent of employees have a university certificate, degree or equivalent.

The DWA is one of a network of 26 Workforce Planning Board areas across the province.

Workforce Planning Boards gather intelligence about the supply of labour and the demand side of the local labour market by working with employers to identify and meet their current and emerging skills needs. The primary role of Workforce Planning Boards is to help improve understanding of and coordinate community responses to labour market issues and needs.