Tech Leaders Fed Up With Talent Shortage in Canada

The talent shortage in Canada continues to plague local businesses. Technology leaders in BC this week co-signed an open letter to The Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia to address this nationwide problem.

The letter reads:

Skilled graduates fuel the BC tech industry, yet we’re facing a significant shortage. In the period from 2012 to 2015, Vancouver fell ten places from fourth to 14th in an international measure of global tech talent. Worldwide, competition is fierce, as more sectors grow dependent on tech grads. Streamlined immigration and training can help. New computer-science and technology graduates from BC’s post-secondary institutions simply cannot meet the demand for these well paying positions.

The letter makes three recommendations.

1. Invest $100 million to expand technology-related post-secondary programs.

2. Implement tech-related co-ops at post-secondary institutions.

3. Build awareness of career opportunities in tech.

The letter was signed by Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, BuildDirect CEO Jeff Booth, Electronic Arts CFO Jonathan Lutz, and many others.

63 percent of businesses in Canada that are looking to grow face a talent shortage, according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s latest report, “Breaking Barriers: Ontario’s Scale Up Challenge.”

Another impact on talent is Silicon Valley and other US hotspots draining grads from cities like Vancouver and Waterloo. In the Valley, software engineers can earn double the money for the same job in Canada.