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Global Skills Strategy: A gateway to growing Canada’s economy and securing international talent

Published: March 18th, 2017 By: Steve Proctor

ICTC

Michael Walton, Program Coordinator, ICTC

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) released news this week detailing its New Global Talent Stream program to help fill in-demand occupations through the facilitated onboarding of specialized global talent for companies that are seeking innovation and growth.  Navdeep Bains, Minister of (ISED), and Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, said the Global Skills Strategy, including the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, would launch June 12, 2017.

Some features of the strategy include the eligibility for workers to have their work permit applications and temporary resident visas processed in 10 business days. It also drops the work permit requirement for short-term highly skilled work (for instance, 30 days or less in a 12-month period). In addition to helping Canadian businesses grow and attain the global talent they need quickly, this initiative will also be working to identify a global talent list of eligible high-demand occupations by working with stakeholders and labour market experts.

The notion that global demand for highly skilled talent in the digital economy is outpacing supply, is supported by ICTC’s National Digital Strategy Digital Talent-Road to 2020 and Beyond. This report, and more recent publications such as the Digital Economy Supply: The immigration Stream, project that more than 182,000 ICT positions will need to be filled by 2019.

The need for technology workers is growing as a result of the growth of social media, mobile applications, big data and analytics and conversions to cloud computing. The adoption of smart and connected technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) over the next three to five years, is going to continue to reshape manufacturing, financial services, health, transportation, media and creative industries. The rise of these technologies and their integration into all sectors of the economy is creating a high demand for skilled digital workers such as developers, cyber security experts and engineers.

“Canada is competing in a tight skills market, the global talent stream positions Canada for success,” said Namir Anani, President and CEO of ICTC.

As ICTC’s National Digital Strategy’ notes, the key to safeguarding Canada’s success is to ensure that there is skilled talent that can drive innovation and competition in today’s rapidly developing global economy. One such recommendation from this report is the ability to remove barriers to full participation in the ICT field by immigrants. Through ISED’s Global Skills Strategy, companies will have an easier time hiring highly trained people overseas, which will only serve to create new jobs, grow Canadian businesses and increase Canada’s presence in the global economy as an innovation leader.

  • Michael Walton, Program Coordinator, ICTC
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