June 1, 2016
ITAC President before House of Commons’ Standing Committee
Discussion on Temporary Foreign Workers
Toronto, ON – Robert Watson, President and CEO for the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) appeared today before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development to provide industry feedback and insight surrounding the need for access to high skilled workers along with recommendations to Government with regard to Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW).
It has been projected by the Information Communications Technology Council (ICTC) that the ICT sector will face an enormous skills gap and labour shortage of 182,000 by 2019 across Canada. ITAC continues to respond this projected demand through the ITAC Talent division by offering programs at both the high school and post-secondary level:
- CareerMash spreads the word about the endless possibilities of today’s tech careers to high school students and inspires them to pursue post-secondary training in the ICT sector.
- Business Technology Management (BTM) initiatives focus on curriculum development at the post-secondary level and equips graduates with the right technical and business skills to enter the workplace. Working with academic institutions, industry and sector associations, ITAC Talent defined a set of learning outcomes and competency standards required by the industry.
“We know through our membership that ICT companies in Canada are keen to hire locally and are willing to invest in programs to ensure a steady stream of skilled talent,” noted Robert Watson, President and CEO, ITAC. “Unfortunately, Canada does not always produce talent to fit everyone’s needs. Hiring a TFW is more expensive and less convenient but at times is needed to allow Canadian ICT companies looking to scale.”
The following recommendations will be put forth to the Federal Government:
- Monitor Labour Patterns – Encourage Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Statistics Canada to work together to collect granular data about labour patterns in the ICT sector in order to help educational institutions tailor programs to meet demands.
- Restore Sectorial Exemption which exempted technology workers from requiring a labour market impact assessment conducted before entering Canada.
- Create a Trusted Employer program where a company can prove themselves through a governed set of criteria and be exempt.
- Revamp National Occupation Codes (NOC) which are outdated for the technology sector, leading to rejections for companies applying for TFWs and a lack of information for Canada to tailor its educational programs.
- Create Service Standards for processing applications in order to avoid costly delays which may cause Canadian companies to lose clients and mandates to foreign competitors.
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.
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 one million jobs directly and indirectly and invests $4.9 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer.