Addressing the growing gap between cybersecurity skills and talent supply/demand

New partnership between national tech association and CyberNB to create cybersecurity framework for Canada

Mississauga, ON (May 29, 2019) – To address the skills shortage in cybersecurity in Canada, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and CyberNB have formed a partnership that will see the creation of a cybersecurity skills framework that will focus on accelerated learning and skills development, national occupational standards, and certification and program accreditation. Workforce development tools that will help provide information to both Canadian employers and students looking for cyber professionals and training will also be created.

The partnership was formed following the award of a three-year, $2 million Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Sectoral Initiatives Program Grant to ITAC.

Currently, Canada relies on national occupational codes that are very narrow for the Canadian information, communication and technology (ICT) industry, and does not include emerging technology or associated professions. The goal of the partnership is to ensure that Canadian individuals or businesses, or anyone wanting to work in Canada, would have a clear and updated process that shows available jobs, and nationally recognized certifications for cybersecurity professionals available through training institutions across the country.

Other key initiatives of the partnership will include:

  • A comprehensive review of the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) skills framework; adjusting it to fit the Canadian marketplace; and to then encourage the national adoption and usage of a Canadian cybersecurity skills framework.
  • The development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) with an intent to have these considered by Statistics Canada for inclusion in the National Occupational Codes (NOC).
  • The creation of learning outcomes and competency standards for post-secondary educational institutions in areas related to the NOS.
  • The development of related certification and accreditation standards and assessment processes and procedures.
  • The development and implementation of a national outreach and marketing strategy to seek national adoption of the cybersecurity standards and labour mobility and workforce development tools.


Canada is striving toward nationally adopted professional standards for the ICT sector – especially around cybersecurity. Partnering with CyberNB enables our two organizations to make significant changes for the Canadian market. The whole country can benefit from leveraging a Canadian cybersecurity skills framework with the resulting training and certifications. This has huge implications for both Canadian businesses and individuals and will help us move the dial forward when it comes to addressing Canada’s talent shortage in this critical areaAngela Mondou, President and CEO, ITAC.

Digital literacy is a skill that more and more employers are looking for. As the size of the digital economy grows and more devices become connected, the number of new positions being created to support digital security increases as well. CyberNB, through ONB, is committed to giving our workers the skills and tools they need to succeed. Incredible partnerships and initiatives like this will help us attract more cybersecurity talent and prepare New Brunswickers for a changing workforce. Opportunities NB CEO Stephen Lund.


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About Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

As Canada’s national ICT business association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) champions the development of a robust and sustainable digital economy in Canada. A vital connection between business and government, we provide our members with the advocacy, networking and professional development services that help them to thrive nationally and compete globally.

A prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity, ITAC encourages technology adoption to capitalize on productivity and performance opportunities across all sectors. A member-driven not-for-profit, ITAC has served as the authoritative national voice of the $170 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 36,000 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates over one million jobs directly and indirectly and invests $4.9 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer.


About ITAC Talent

TAC Talent was formed in 2014 following a merger with the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT). It seeks to achieve practical solutions to some major challenges: a need to increase ICT-related enrollments; consistently low female participation in ICT; and significant shifts in demand – against the backdrop of a growing need for every industry to embrace tools and methods of the knowledge economy.

We have a track record of success in designing and implementing evidence-based, innovative solutions to Canada’s ICT skills challenges and priorities. We have partnered with dozens of leading organizations in the tech sector, as well as other influential sectors including: banking, retail, professional services, manufacturing, and many other sectors

About CyberNB

CyberNB is a special operating agency of Opportunities NB, New Brunswick’s lead economic development agency. CyberNB collaborates with business, academia and government to build the cybersecurity industry, grow its workforce and foster innovation.

To arrange an interview, please contact:

Janet Gibson Eichner

Director, Communications, ITAC, 905-602-8345 x 2235 or

Jim Hennessy

Communications, Opportunities NB, 506) 643-0915  or