In their Tech Workforce Trends: The Migration of Tech Workers and Tech Jobs Since The Pandemic report, the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) and Canada’s Tech Network (CTN) reveal that many tech workers moved to Canada in the year that ended in March.
“Given the radical shortfall in tech workers to fill available jobs in recent years, it’s imperative we understand migration movements to better serve our members, the innovation workforce, and the broader technology ecosystem,” said Yvonne Pilon, vice chair of TECNA, and president and chief executive officer of the Windsor-based WEtech Alliance.
Ontario saw the biggest overall gain to its tech workforce during that year but smaller provinces, like Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, experienced the most rapid growth.
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Here’s how all the provinces and territories fared:
|Province or Territory||Percentage Growth in Tech Workforce|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||16.3|
|Prince Edward Island||11.7|
Windsor Saw The Greatest Percentage Growth In Its Tech Workforce In The Past Year
Among municipalities, Windsor saw the highest growth in tech workers over the past year, up 28 per cent, followed by Cape Breton and Timmins as many more tech workers start working remotely, moving away from major metropolitan areas and towards more rural locations.
Here’s how the bigger Canadian municipalities ranked in terms of attracting tech workers during that year:
|City||Number of Tech Workers|
Most of the foreign nationals coming to Canada to work in the tech sector in the past year were Nigerians or Indians.
Here were the top sources of tech workers to Canada during that year:
|Country||Number of Tech Workers|
|United Arab Emirates||744|
Salaries for tech workers are lower in Canada than south of the border but the country is still managing to attract many foreign nationals to come work here due to policies to immigrate to Canada put forth by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Tech Talent Strategy Lauded By Tech Firms For Helping Bring In Much-Needed Workers
“We are thrilled with the recent announcement by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, as it paves the way for Canada to welcome workers with H1B visas into our tech ecosystem,” said Chris Albinson, chief executive officer and president at Communitech.
“This groundbreaking program is set to bring 10,000 highly skilled professionals to our country, fortifying our position as a leading destination for tech talent.
“The Toronto-Waterloo corridor, one of North America’s largest and fastest growing tech hubs, already attracts talented individuals on a daily basis, and this new initiative will propel our ecosystem to even greater heights.
Developed in collaboration with Canada’s tech, start-up and business communities, the Tech Talent Strategy will lead to the creation by July 16 of an open work permit stream specifically targeted for those foreign nationals working in the United States with H-1B specialty occupation visas, a visa widely used by Silicon Valley companies to bring in highly-skilled immigrants.
This measure is to remain in effect for one year, or until Canada’s immigration department receives 10,000 applications, with only principal applicants and not their accompanying family members counting towards the application cap.
Under the Tech Talent Strategy, an Innovation Stream is to be developed under the International Mobility Program (IMP) to attract even more highly-talented foreign nationals to Canada.
That Innovation Stream, which is to be launched by the end of this year, is to include:
- employer-specific work permits for up to five years for workers destined to work for a company identified by the federal government in Canada as contributing to the country’s industrial innovation goals, and;
- open work permits for up to five years for highly-skilled workers in select in-demand occupations.
The Tech Talent Strategy also promises a return to the 14-day service standard for work permits under the Global Skills Strategy.