A new report released today by the BC Tech Association (BC Tech), with support from the B.C. government, reinforces the importance of working together with all stakeholders to deepen the province’s talent pool.
Government committed in the #BCTECH Strategy to support the technology sector to customize labour-market information, strategies and tools that address labour-market priorities. Delivering on this commitment and to better understand the current and future labour needs of B.C.’s diverse and fast-growing technology sector, the Province provided nearly $600,000 to the BC Tech Association and the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) to lead the technology Sector Labour Market Partnership Project.
As part of this project, BC Tech has produced the “2016 TechTalentBC Report” after engaging with key employers and the broader technology community. The report provides a detailed labour-market analysis of B.C.’s current and future workforce supply and demand, as well as sources for talented workers – including new graduates, immigrants, people transitioning to tech careers and the retention of skilled workers.
The report shows that job openings in the technology sector will continue to grow 1.8% every year, which is higher than the overall B.C. annual employment growth of 1.2%. More importantly, the sector has the potential to expand further in job openings and revenue if all stakeholders, including companies, educators, industry associations and government at every level work together to address B.C.’s talent shortage.
The report includes several recommendations for all stakeholders to expand B.C.’s talent pool. Overall, the recommendations focus on the need to:
- Increase more home-grown talent through post-secondary programs.
- Attract more skilled workers from abroad.
- Expand training investment and initiatives to help more B.C. residents transition to tech careers.
Government has several new initiatives and support programs that respond to the report’s recommendations to deepen B.C.’s technology labour pool, and details will be announced next week as part of the #BCTECH Summit.
As part of the technology Sector Labour Market Partnership project, VEC is also working with industry partners including BC Tech, to develop a comprehensive labour market strategy with key actions to address the sector’s labour-market priorities. This strategy is currently in development and will be shared with tech-sector stakeholders and the public later this year.
The report announced today is funded through the Sector Labour Market Partnerships program under the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement. The program helps employers understand and respond to changing labour-market demands, ensuring that training and education programs in B.C. are aligned with industry’s labour-market needs and priorities.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour–
“The technology sector is an integral part of our diverse, strong and growing economy and a key sector in our BC Jobs Plan. The research that the BC Tech Association has conducted reinforces the importance of deepening our tech talent pool. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to give British Columbians the skills they need to seize the many technology job opportunities.”
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services—
“With hundreds of jobs available in our tech sector, we’re responding to the industry’s top priority of developing tech talent to meet increasing demand as the sector grows. Although we are helping meet the need for technology education and skills training through the evolving #BCTECH Strategy, by introducing coding to our K-12 curriculum last fall and investing in co-ops and coding academies, we have more work to do. We will be announcing new initiatives to address talent at the #BCTECH Summit.”
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education–
“Talent is critical for our growing and diverse tech sector in British Columbia. The tech sector is a huge part of the prosperity of families in our province. Innovation-driven industries in the province can look forward to hiring the best and brightest first graduates from our colleges, institutes and universities, who will have sought-after skills in engineering, science and information technology.”
Bill Tam, president, BC Technology Association –
“Successfully scaling B.C.’s strong base of tech startups into globally competitive anchor companies is of critical importance to the province’s future prosperity as we shift to a knowledge economy. Talent is what fuels the B.C. tech sector and is the cornerstone of tech company success. Building a solid foundation of human capital, whether home-grown or globally sourced, is among the critical success factors to achieve our vision of establishing B.C. as a global top-10 tech ecosystem and a go-to destination for top global talent.”
#BCTECH Strategy: https://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
B.C.’s #BCTECH Summit: http://bctechsummit.ca
2016 TechTalentBC Report: www.workbc.ca/TechTalentReport
Sector Labour Market Partnerships Program: www.workbc.ca/sectorlabourmarketpartnerships
B.C. 2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Statistics/Labour-Market.aspx
BC Stats: Profile of the British Columbia High Technology Sector -- 2016 Edition (released January 2017): http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/StatisticsBySubject/BusinessIndustry/HighTechnology.aspx
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/