Study Shows Vast Skills, Labour Shortages Looming for Canada’s Tech Sector

Facade of Ives Hall, Cornell UniversityImage via Wikipedia
20 April 2011
March 29, 2011
Canada’s ICT sector, representing the country’s information, communications and technology employment base, is facing alarming skills and labour shortages in the next five years. Today’s release of Outlook for Human Resources in the ICT Labour Market, 2011-2016 by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) , in partnership with the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) , underscores the shortages, and paints a picture of a new job market for ICT that has radically changed. ICTC also reported that all stakeholders in the sector—industry and education, the associations that represent them, and government—recognize the looming shortages and are poised to act.

The new report underscores that in most regions in Canada and for most ICT occupations, demand will far exceed supply.  Employers will encounter systemic shortages when recruiting for ICT jobs that require five or more years’ experience. The severity of these shortages will increase when employers are seeking to recruit ICT people with leading edge skills such as marketing, accounting and finance competencies.

The results also show a new job market for ICT, one that has radically changed. Industry now needs workers with the leading edge package of skills, for example systems analysis and design combined with marketing, operations management and HR management, or people with particular combinations of domain experience (such as e-health, e-finance and digital media) together with ICT expertise.

Over the next five years, Canadian employers will need to hire an estimated 106,000 ICT workers.

“The potential skills and labour shortage crisis has been identified as one of the most defining issues facing the ICT sector in Canada today, said Bernard Courtois, President and CEO of ITAC. Global job mobility, technological change, demographics, declining enrolments, and shifting investment patterns have combined to create a pending shortfall among skilled ICT workers. “ITAC and other sector stakeholders asked ICTC to help us understand the reasons for these trends and offer regional and occupational forecast,” said Courtois, “and we are now armed with this fresh survey information and ground-breaking analysis by leading Canadian experts to assess current and forecasted trends, and to recommend and implement corrective actions.”

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