Work-integrated learning is a key source of talent for the Canadian bio-economy

0 Comments

BioTalent Canada today released new findings from its most recent bio-economy Labour Market Information (LMI) study. The data in this new brief—The Talent Differential: The case for work-integrated learning in the bio-economy —was collected from a series of three facilitated roundtable discussions, a survey of 573 bio-economy employers in 2020, and an analysis of data from BioTalent Canada’s current wage subsidy programs.

The results indicate work-integrated learning (WIL) such as co-op, work placements, internships, and clinical placements that combine practical work experience with formal classroom learning are a key component of many Canadian post-secondary education models. The programs also offer a key source of talent recruitment for bio-economy employers.

“Students who take advantage of work-integrated learning opportunities have an easier time transitioning to the workforce,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “But this brief uncovers some challenges. While women account for the majority of WIL participants, they remain underrepresented in the workforce. And even though we know that WIL participants transition to the workforce more successfully, participation rates decline as education levels increase, this is troubling for such an effective solution,” he said.

The data presented in this research brief also raises questions about how Canadian bio-economy employers integrate WIL into their human resource strategies. These questions include:

  1. How can bio-economy employers be encouraged to collaborate with postsecondary institutions to further develop WIL opportunities?

  2. How can WIL opportunities be leveraged to provide women with more successful transitions to the Canadian bio-economy workforce?

  3. Because WIL participation decreases as students progress to higher levels of education, would it be beneficial to introduce more WIL opportunities at these advanced degree levels to address these noted skills gap?

“I’m confident that BioTalent Canada’s programs and services can play a major role in providing solutions to these challenges,” adds Henderson. “Our Student

Researchers identify a new source of protein for humans — ScienceDaily

0 Comments

Rapeseed has the potential to replace soy as the best plant-based source of protein for humans. In a current study, nutrition scientists at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), found that rapeseed protein consumption has comparable beneficial effects on human metabolism as soy protein. The glucose metabolism and satiety were even better. Another advantage: The proteins can be obtained from the by-products of rapeseed oil production. The study was published in the journal Nutrients.

For a balanced and healthy diet, humans need protein. “It contains essential amino acids which can not be synthesized in the body,” says Professor Gabriele Stangl from the Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences at MLU. Meat and fish are important sources of high-quality proteins. However, certain plants can also provide valuable proteins. “Soy is generally considered the best source of plant protein as it contains a particularly beneficial composition of amino acids,” says Stangl.

Her team investigated whether rapeseed, which has a comparably beneficial composition of amino acids, could be an alternative to soy. Rapeseed also contains phytochemicals — chemical compounds produced by plants — which could have beneficial effects on health, says Stangl. “So far, only a few data on the effect of rapeseed protein intake in humans had been available,” adds the scientist. In comparison to soy rapeseed has several other advantages: It is already being cultivated in Europe and the protein-rich by-products of the rapeseed oil production could be used as ingredients for new food products. These by-products are currently used exclusively for animal feed.

In a study with 20 participants, the team investigated the effect of ingested rapeseed and soy proteins on human metabolism. Before the interventions the participants were asked to document their diets for a few days. Then they were invited to eat a specifically prepared meal on

The best open source software of 2020

0 Comments

High-performance time series databases are often closed-source products that not only can be costly to maintain, but also require learning proprietary query languages. Not QuestDB. 

A free open source database developed for fast processing of time series data and events, QuestDB is queried using familiar SQL, along with time series extensions for temporal aggregations. And yet its Java-based query engine delivers blazingly fast response times with minimal latency. 

To deliver its impressive query performance, QuestDB takes advantage of a custom storage engine, modified Google Swiss Tables, SIMD instructions, parallel execution queuing, and pipeline prefetch optimizations. Its onboard web console provides a schema explorer, a code editor for interactive queries, and some basic table and visualization tools.

QuestDB is still a work in progress. Not all queries have been optimized yet, and the SQL dialect is still being fleshed out. But when you get breakthrough time series query performance together with SQL support, who cares about a few wrinkles? 

Licensed under Apache 2.0, QuestDB runs on Linux, MacOS, and Windows and makes packages available for Docker and Homebrew.

— James R. Borck

Source Article

Trump immigration policies a source of frustration for employers

0 Comments

Through policy, the Trump administration has made it clear it is looking to minimize employer use of the H-1B visa program, the immigration pathway for highly-skilled foreign nationals to help meet key talent needs in tech, healthcare, and finance, among others. Talent consultants, researchers and employment attorneys say the administration’s continuous effort to complicate the process for hiring this talent has caused “a lot of frustration” for employers.

“It shakes the whole core of the organization,” Eileen Scofield, an attorney in Alston & Bird’s labor and employment group, told HR Dive. “It incentivizes them to go and build their infrastructure someplace else where they don’t have to worry about losing key people.”

In the early months of the pandemic, the administration declared a series of cessations of entry for H-1B applicants and other foreign nationals, citing public health and labor market concerns. Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Technology Association, a technology trade group, said the first ban in April “could not come at a worse time.”

In June, Trump issued an executive order halting the issuance of new H-1B visas for the rest of 2020. In August, USCIS proposed an updated fee structure that was recently rejected by federal courts.

In early September, the administration proposed two more regulations it is hoping to finalize before the end of the year. One would narrow the definition of the occupations eligible for the skilled-worker visa and the other would increase the wages employers would have to pay to these workers, to prevent them from “undercutting” U.S. workers, according to multiple members of the administration, including Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.

“There’s been concern for a long time that the wages at which H-1B workers are allowed to be brought into the country are too low and are

India open to launching own app store as start-ups criticise Google – government source

0 Comments

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is open to launching its own mobile app store or expanding an existing one if it receives enough demand from domestic firms for an alternative to Apple AAPL.O and Google platforms, a senior government official said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The country has some 500 million smartphone users, most of whom use Google’s Android platform, but Indian start-ups have criticised the company for policies they say stifle their growth.

SoftBank-backed 9984.T Paytm, one of India’s leading payments firms, protested against the U.S. tech giant’s decision to remove its app for a few hours last month citing violations of gambling policies.

Alphabet-owned GOOGL.O Google also said this week that it will strictly enforce a policy which will levy a 30% commission on payments made within apps on its Android store.

In response to an earlier media report, a senior Indian official told Reuters New Delhi hasn’t received any formal request but was willing to consider developing a mobile platform where apps could be downloaded.

“Before we open one we need to know there will be takers for it,” said the government official, declining to be named as he is not authorised to speak with media.

India already runs a mobile app store that lists over 1200 mainly government-backed applications, but also Paytm, and the government could also consider expanding that instead of starting from scratch, the official added.

India’s technology ministry, Google and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google has previously said that fewer than 3% of developers with apps on its Play store sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and nearly 97% comply with its payment system policy.