More Jobs Will Go Unfilled: ICTC Report

skill shortageUnprecedented global economic growth, driven primarily by technology advances, will continue to strain Canada’s capacity to meet the demand for workers with ICT skills.
A new report released by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) suggests the expected growth of smart and hyper connected marketplace mean that cumulative hiring requirements in Canada for ICT Talent are expected to be over 182,000 by 2019.
With 31 per cent of surveyed employers indicating they already have difficulty or delays in filling ICT positions due to a lack of suitable talent, the study authors make it clear homegrown ICT talent will not meet the demands of business over the next five years.
Karna Gupta, President and CEO of the Information Technology Association, says number underscores the need to develop the talent pipeline early and make sure the skills that are being taught in schools match the required skills being sought by industry.
“ITC underpins much of Canada’s economic performance and economic growth. If a company can’t access the talent it requires, its competitive position is hampered and its ability to innovate can be compromised,” he says.
ITAC, through its ITAC Talent division, offers two programs designed to help prepare young people for ICT careers. CareerMash targets high school students and introduces them to “cool” careers in ICT using award winning curricula material and industry mentors. Business Technology Management (BTM) offers post-secondary students a course that marries project management and entrepreneurial business savvy with in demand IT skills.
“We will continue to work with our members, and partners like ICTC, to find solutions that will allow us to leverage the strength of our young people and to improve programs that allow companies to take advantage of skilled immigrants when there are no Canadian alternatives.”
The ICTC study says some other options going forward that could help cushion the blow include wage subsidies to support more internships and on the job training opportunities, greater investment by employers in learning opportunities, and targeted programs to recruit more women.
Success in managing the up-and-coming ICT supply and demand market imbalance will depend primarily on our ability as an economy to forecast all the required skills of the future in a timely manner, build strong employer bridging programs, and provide ongoing short duration industry up-skilling, says Namir Anani, ICTC’s President & CEO.
“We are in the midst of a very global and competitive landscape, positioning our digital talent as a comparative advantage will be paramount in the coming years”, he says.