A new report predicts that over the next five years Canada will face an extreme shortage of skilled workers in the information and communications technology sector.
“Given the important role played by the ICT sector in Canada’s economy – as a generator of economic activity in its own right and as an enabler of connectivity and competitiveness in virtually every other industry – we cannot afford to lose ground due to a lack of necessary human resources,” states the report, which was compiled and released this month by the Information & Communications Technology Council (ICTC).
The ICTC predicts that between 2011 and 2016, approximately 106,000 new workers will be needed in the IT sector, but says Canada does not currently have the labour to meet such demand. The report also says that companies outside of major urban centres will have increased difficulty filling these labour needs, as will employers seeking experienced workers.
The ICTC does make some recommendations on how Canada should address the issue, including the encouragement of more students to enrol into ICT programs, as well as a shifting in attitude amongst employers to lower their demands and encourage more diversity in the workplace.
However, another strong solution being touted by the Council is to bring in more skilled workers from outside of the country.
Current regulations do not favour immigration of IT skilled workers, but increased pressures from employers in the coming years could shift government policies.
“Employers are on the hunt for personnel who have specific combinations of ICT experience as well as expertise in domains such as e-health, e-finance and digital media,” says the report. “In the next five years, Canada is going to see a new, radically different ICT job market emerge.”
Source: Montreal Gazette