There has been a “talent crisis” in the rapidly growing tech space in Canada in the last few years. The crisis began when the industry started experiencing hard times in terms of job postings. Posts could stay open for long and it was a huge challenge finding the right candidate for the right job.
The lack of talent in the tech industry continues to be a huge challenge in Canada today according to PWC’s 2019 Tech Talents Trends report. The report indicates that around 79% of CEOs point at the unavailability of talent among the top business concerns. Over 50% of the executives stated that a lack of skills was considerably affecting their operations.
Addressing the growing challenge of unavailability of talent
Although there has been a challenge when it comes to skills the tech industry has continued to expand rapidly. Besides the success of home-grown companies such as Slack Technologies (NYSE: WORK) and Hootsuite, US tech giants are also setting offices in Canada. For instance, Vancouver hosts some of these giants such as Uber Technologies (NYSE: UBER), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT) and Streak.
The Canadian government has helped try to address the challenge. Besides the K12 programs and STEM initiatives, Canada’s immigration policies are very accommodative. As a result, top talents from other jurisdictions are finding themselves in the country and this addresses the talent gap. Canada’s tech hubs should focus on how to get top talents and retain them.
Six Nations Polytechnic partners with IBM Canada in the P-TECH program
For instance, Ontario has taken the first step and the Six Nations polytechnic has partnered with IBM (NYSE: IBM) Canada on a tech-related program. This is a program aimed at helping tech students secure jobs in the industry.
According to Ayman Antoun the president of IBM Canada the program will begin at grade nine. It will help students receive their high school and college diplomas in six years. Antoun indicated that there are 125 students enrolled in the P-TECH program this year and Six Nations will expand in the future. The program is also running in three other Canadian schools.
Using tech tools can help attract young skilled workers in legacy industries
Equally a shift into using technology can help address the problem of skilled workers. Technology tools are increasingly becoming important in different sectors. Besides saving time they are becoming vital in attracting and maintaining millennials at work.
Technology will be a solution for most of the Canadian sectors grappling with a shortage of skills especially in construction. Having industries like the construction sector embracing technology will help in overcoming the perception challenge. Young people tend to prefer office work and have a perception that such jobs are second-tier jobs.
However, integrating technology in such jobs will definitely attract young people and probably help bridge the skills shortage gap. In the construction industry tech tools are revolutionizing the image of the industry from a legacy to an advanced sector.