Major Information Technology employers join forces to help develop a future generation of IT professionals to meet the competitive demands of the Canadian economy
TORONTO, Ontario, Jan.22 2008 — A prominent group of Canadian organizations has joined in a national effort to address a growing and increasingly serious shortage of IT professionals. Initiated by Bell Canada, the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s IT Skills will work collaboratively to develop insights for securing the future of Canada’s IT workforce.
Comprised of leading Canadian companies that rely on a strong IT workforce, which includes a concentration in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the coalition partners will focus on addressing the factors contributing to the IT labour shortage. The goal is to ensure a healthy national economy built on ongoing growth, productivity and competitiveness in the global marketplace.
“If left uncontested, the IT skills gap will create gaps in our economic performance, gaps in our productivity, and gaps in our ability to compete globally. It is in everyone’s interest to close those gaps as quickly as possible,” said Stéphane Boisvert, President, Bell Enterprise Group and official spokesperson for the coalition.
The economic impact of an IT labour shortage has been outlined in a new Conference Board of Canada study commissioned by Bell Canada. The report, entitled “Securing our Future,” includes startling revelations about the economic cost of not filling the estimated 90,000 IT positions set to open across Canada over the next five years.
“The repercussions to the Canadian economy will be severe if those positions go unfilled,” said Dr. Michael Bloom, Vice President, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning for the Conference Board of Canada. “Based on an average annual contribution of $120,000 per IT worker, the economic impact will be more than $10 billion.”
Research conducted by the Conference Board identified several major factors that contribute to a growing IT talent gap, including declining enrolments in IT-related post-secondary programs; demographic shifts such as population aging and a low fertility rate; under-representation of key population groups, including women and immigrants; and mismatches between
skills of available workers and the ever-changing requirements of employers.
Based on the results of the Conference Board study, the national coalition will be focusing its efforts on three major areas:
- Raising the profile of IT and IT career choices among young people, with a specific goal of increasing enrolments in IT-related programs
- Generating public awareness of the importance of IT to Canada by emphasizing the contribution IT makes to Canada’s economic prosperityand competitiveness
- Developing and sustaining Canadian IT know-how
“Today, there are some 600,000 IT workers in Canada, employed in the most mission critical, technology intensive sectors of our economy. We’re putting both short and long-term economic growth at risk if we don’t take action now,” added Mr. Boisvert.
“The coalition, together with the corporate and public sectors, can help turn the tide of the professional IT shortage, and reverse the flow of outsourcing of these important, high-paying jobs beyond our borders.”
Members of the Coalition for Tomorrow’s IT Skills include the following companies, associations and other organizations:
Bell, Hydro-Québec, Mouvement des caisses Desjardins, CGI, Gaz Métro,Nortel Networks, Rogers Communications, Canadian National Railway Company (CN), TD Meloche Monnex, Avaya Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada, BMO Financial Group, The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada, Air Canada, Loto-Québec, Canadian Tire Corp. Limited, Ericsson Canada, Métro Inc., Société des alcools du Québec, LGS / IBM Canada, Exfo, Sapphire Technologies, National Bank of Canada, Cisco Systems Canada, SNC Lavalin, Bombardier, Ultramar, Pfizer, SAP Canada, Conference Board of Canada, TechnoCompétences, TechnoMontréal, Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec (MEQ), Computing Technology Industry Association (Comptia), Canadian
Information Processing Society (CIPS), and the Toronto Board of Trade.
Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, providing consumers with solutions to all their communications needs, including telephone services, wireless communications, high-speed Internet, digital television and voice over IP. Bell also offers integrated information and communications technology (ICT) services to businesses and governments, and is the Virtual Chief
Information Officer (VCIO) to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the exclusive Communications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For information on Bell’s products and services, please visit www.bell.ca. For corporate information on BCE, please
For further information: Jason Laszlo, Bell Media Relations, (416) 606-4737, 1 888 482-0809, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reference: Bell Canada