New immigration pathways needed to attract tech talent

·2 min read

Canada’s growth in the digital economy at large will trigger demand for an additional 250,000 jobs next year and the current workforce is not positioned to meet this demand.

In a report calling for new immigration pathways for tech talent, the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) now estimates that by the end of 2025, employment in the digital economy will reach 2.26 million or roughly 11 per cent of all employment in Canada.

“Canada’s current workforce is not positioned to meet this demand. Right now, there are hundreds of domestic companies commercializing innovative new products and services, and they are all desperate for highly skilled talent,” said the report.

The Council’s Talent & Skills Strategy report contains 13 key recommendations for federal and provincial labour, training, and economic development ministries, and agencies to address the issue.

The foreign talent-related recommendations include;

Several other studies recently also mirrored the CCI findings.

According to data from Salesforce Research in its Global Digital Skills Index 2022 report, 86 per cent of Canadians say they are not prepared to meet the digital skill requirements of the future.

A poll conducted by KPMG revealed that 80 per cent of the businesses surveyed say they need more workers with digital skills and two-thirds of them are having trouble finding and hiring needed talent.

Provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have now implemented special pathways to attract foreign tech talent through the provincial immigration nominee programs.

Late last month, Meta announced the creation of a new Canadian engineering hub, to be based in Toronto, and plans to hire up to 2,500 employees for remote and in-office positions across Canada over the next five years.

Many of the roles in Canada will be engineering focused and are expected to span across building extended reality experiences and Meta technologies.

“This major investment builds on Meta’s long-term commitment to our province and is a strong vote of confidence in our skilled and diverse workforce,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “It sends a clear signal to the rest of the world that Ontario is, once again, the best place anywhere to do business.”

Fabian Dawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Canadian Media

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