The Canadian province of British Columbia has turned to India for technology talent, with a local Immigrant Employment Council (IEC) announcing that the province would recruit immigrants to fill the shortfall of technology talent.
“By 2021, there will be an anticipated shortfall of over 30,000 skilled individuals to fill tech-related jobs in the province,” Patrick Mackenzie, the CEO of the Council, has told India Abroad News Service (IANS). “The current supply cannot meet the industry’s growing demands for tech talent.”
IT professionals are the most sought-after individuals in British Columbia today, particularly after a Microsoft-led consortium began setting up a digital technology supercluster in the province.
Already, the province houses more than 10,000 companies and accounts for about CAD$29 billion (US$22 billion) in revenue.
Most of these positions are for information system analysts, consultants, software engineers, designers, and computer system managers.
The hunt for immigrant talent underscores the worry that the skills gap might limit the potential growth of Canada’s technology industry.
This is not the first step the provincial government has taken to increase its technology talent pool. Last year, it exempted foreign IT workers from paying real estate tax.
The province expects immigrants to fill one-third of the nearly 1 million positions estimated to be created by 2025, with the government urging local residents not to be worried about non-Canadians snatching their jobs.
The news comes at a time when Indian IT workers in the United States are feeling the heat from the tightening of the H1B visa program.