With connected technologies reshaping the way we live and work, there’s an acute need for digital talent in sectors ranging from financial services, transportation, and media to education, healthcare and manufacturing. The good news is that Canada is home to a strong information and communications technology (ICT) workforce. The bad news is that it’s insufficient to meet the growing demand.
“The problem is not a shortage of people, it’s a lack of candidates with the skills required by particular employers,” said Chris Collins, Vice President and Managing Partner for PeopleToGo, a leading Canadian provider of IT staffing and technology services across North America.
Collins joined Fawn Annan, President and CMO of ITWC for a webinar entitled How to adapt to the IT skills gap. In an overview of the situation in Canada, he explained that the shortage of skilled ICT talent in the technology sector is the major issue hampering the growth of innovative companies in Canada. Referencing numbers provided by the Government of Canada, he said that of the 218,000 ICT positions projected to be vacant in the country this year, 50% are new roles, while the other half are replacements for workers who are leaving the industry. The employment picture would be rosy, if not for the fact that only 29,000 graduates with appropriate IT training are expected to join the workforce this year.
According to Collins, organizations may have to become more flexible in their approach to recruitment and retention. Credentials, he said, are considered strong indicators of the skills and competencies possessed by an applicant, yet many workers are forgoing standard credential-conferring institutions, opting instead to upskill in non-traditional ways, such as short-term, intensive boot camps. Organizations that insist on their workers having a formal degree may be missing out on this talent pool. Another largely untapped source of talent is found in women and new Canadians, both of which are underrepresented throughout the ICT pipeline.
Until there’s a long term solution to the skills gap, organizations will benefit from the services of trusted tech resourcing companies, such as PeopleToGo. “We aren’t the only industry solution to bridging the gap between supply and demand, but for 20 years we’ve been very effective at helping organizations across the country and in the United States to align the right technology resources,” said Collins. “On any given day, we provide between 550 and 600 technicians, software developers, network engineers, architects, system administrators, project managers, and specialists in cloud, cybersecurity, and DevOps. There’s a good reason we call ourselves a Just in Time Labor Resource Company. Every day, our customers come to us at the 11th hour with urgent requirements. And in every case, we meet that deadline with the required number of quality resources.”
To learn more about the skills gap, particularly its impact on small and medium sized businesses, watch the webinar on demand