Canada’s Global Talent Stream program has attracted more US companies to open shop in the country to tap its growing talent pool. As a result of the growing number of skilled workers in the country tech hubs have emerged in Toronto, Montreal, Waterloo, and Vancouver.
Canada appealing to US tech companies
For instance, last year when Lever Inc. CEO Sarah Nahm was looking for a place to offer better services to its East Coast customers she settled for north of the 49th parallel in Toronto. Nahm wanted to capitalize on the growing technology sector in Toronto. Currently, Toronto is the fastest growing technology market in North America with numerous salespeople, engineers among other people.
Lever Inc. is not the only US Company that has set shop in Canada in recent years as other big players have also ventured north. Big players such as Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) already have offices in Ontario’s technology hub Waterloo, Toronto the country’s most populous city, Montreal and Vancouver among other places. In May device tracking company Tile Inc. indicated that it was opening an office in Vancouver while Postmates a grocery delivery company has been hiring developers and engineers in Vancouver.
The Global Talent Stream program
In 2017 Canada launched an ambitious program called the Global Talent Stream aimed at reducing visa application period for two weeks from 10 months. The focus for the program is STEM-related and IT fields such as digital media design and computer engineering. Since the launch of the program, over 4,000 foreign workers have been hired by over 1,000 tech companies.
Canada launched the program in response to the US clampdown on immigrants. Currently, Canada has a shortage of IT skills and over 200,000 jobs need to be filled within the next few years. According to the CEO and President of Information Technology Association of Canada Angela Mondou, the program could not have come at a better time than now when the US is dealing with the immigrant issue. Mondou stated that Canada is attracting talent and it is growing to be an exciting ecosystem.
US companies have begun taking note of Canada’s inviting policies and favorable immigration policies and are taking advantage of the same. The US has a skills gap in the technology industry with hundreds of thousands of jobs that need to be filled.
Growth of Canada’s tech space
Over time the Canadian tech space has also matured and nowadays there are several tech giants in the country. Canada is home to companies such as BlackBerry Ltd. (NYSE: BB), Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP), and Open Text Corp (NASDAQ: OTEX) among others. Canada has experienced growth in tech startups in recent times just like in Silicon Valley.
Terminal Inc. CEO Clay Kellogg acknowledges that immigration is a factor in the growth of Canada as a tech hub it is not the main driver. Terminal Inc. which is based in San-Francisco develops tech hubs globally and foreign employees can be hired and work remotely. He adds that tech startups need to have access to the best talent irrespective of their location.