Talent has emerged as the most pressing issue for BC tech companies. With the continued growth of both home-grown successes and the arrival of multinationals, access to talent across all subsectors and stages of companies has become constrained—leading to challenges in which tech companies are unable to access the talent that they need.
To better understand the growing imbalance between the demand for talent and the available supply, we engaged in a comprehensive province-wide labour market study as part of the Sector Labour Market Partnership Program with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Council, and the Vancouver Economic Commission.
The result of this study is the 2016 TechTalent BC Report. It validates the concerns of many companies in the tech sector and shows that the gap between talent demand and supply not only exists, but is increasing. In fact, by 2021, tens of thousands of tech jobs will go unfilled in BC.
Outlined below are some key forecasts and findings:
- BC’s tech sector reached approx. 149,000 jobs in 2015 and has the potential to grow to 196,000 jobs by 2021, an additional of 47,000 new jobs
- The current supply conditions will mean that we will only be able to fill 16,500 new jobs
- Nearly 30,500 jobs will go unfilled by 2021 unless we secure additional sources of talent which will require:
- 12,500 new entrants (graduates) to fill entry-level roles
- 8,500 immigrants to fill key senior-level and specialized roles
- 9,500 other local talent (career transitioners, re-skilled workers, and underrepresented groups) to fill key roles
The study was a collaborative process between government, academia and industry, fulfilling a commitment in the province’s #BCTECH Strategy to customize labour-market information, strategies and tools to address labour-market priorities for the tech sector. The resulting recommendations call for increasing:
- The capacity of post-secondary programs to produce additional graduates each year in tech-relevant programs as well as non-tech programs,
- The supply of immigration and foreign workers for senior level and specialized roles,
- Investment in retraining initiatives, enabling the transition of local non-tech and underrepresented groups of workers to the tech sector,
- Investment and significantly expanded co-op and experiential learning opportunities for all post-secondary and K-12 tech programs,
- Investment in pre- and post-arrival skills development programs for foreign talent.
Acting on the recommendations in this report and renewing investments that have already been made will go far to ensure that an adequate supply of talent is available for BC’s tech companies—allowing them to grow and remain in BC. This is ever more imperative as worldwide competition for the best talent is fierce and intensifying.
We welcome your participation as we continue to build initiatives to develop our talent in BC. To provide your comments and questions, please email Raseel Sehmi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more please see the TechTalent Report deck below: