Due to demand-supply imbalances, skills mismatch, an aging workforce and other contributing factors, Canada is headed for a serious technology talent shortage in the next five years and will be making several IT jobs in Canada available to foreigners.
Canada needs 182,000 people to fill various positions for information systems analysts and consultants, software engineers, computer and network operators, Web technicians and other related fields by 2019, according to a recent IT labour market report.
There are about 811,200 information communication and technology professionals currently employed in Canada, but there are an additional 182,000 IT jobs in Canada that need to be filled by 2019.
Funding for this study was provided by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and the report was prepared and released by a highly skilled team from the ICTC, a labour market intelligence and industry skills standard body that is funded by the Canadian government.
“The latest innovations in ICTs – in particular the Internet of things as well as social, mobile, analytics, apps and cloud – have become drivers of innovation, productivity and growth,” the above mentioned report stated. “…It is projected that the availability of home-grown ICT talent will not be enough to meet these hiring requirements.”
The majority of employers will continue having difficulty in recruiting professionals with the right combination of technical and business skills. The report claims that unless adequately addressed, it will cause strife to Canada’s prosperity, since growth in Canadian workers’ productivity levels has noticeably fallen since 2001.
Researchers state that employment growth – combined with replacement demands due to retirements, skills mismatch, and other exits, imbalances of demand and supply will affect some occupations more than others.
The report states that among the high demand occupations identified were:
Medium demand occupations include:
Low demand occupations are:
Authors of the report stated that it is important for business to attract and retain more women for IT jobs in Canada. They noted that three out of four ICT professionals in Canada are men.
Another way to close the talent gap is to attract youth to IT jobs in Canada. Currently only one out of every 20 IT jobs in Canada are occupied by youth.
Business will definitely need to look beyond Canadian borders in order to find talent. The labour market outlook for immigrants to fill the 182,000 IT jobs in Canada before 2019.
The report also stated that immigrants lacking Canadian labour market experience will have some difficulty in securing IT jobs in Canada that is commensurate with their qualifications. Bridging programs that combine business practices and communications, training in a Canadian workplace and a work placement component, will definitely create excellent opportunities for new jobseekers to gain employment that is commensurate with their skill sets and qualifications.