Canada immigration news: Foreign nationals hoping to immigrate to Canada have opportunities abound with tech jobs growing faster in Toronto and Vancouver than the number of skilled workers to fill positions.
“Toronto, Vancouver and Seattle created substantially more jobs than tech degree graduates, while New York Metro, Boston and Washington, D.C. produced more graduates than jobs,” states CBRE Research.
In its latest North American market report, Evolving Workforces: Scoring Tech Talent 2022, the research division of the American commercial real estate firm CBRE Group, placed both Toronto and Vancouver among the top 10 tech talent markets.
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Toronto was ranked the number three tech market in North America and Vancouver came in at number eight. In the North American tech industry, Toronto is a young lion, demonstrating tremendous growth during the five years which ended in December 2021.
“Between 2016 and 2021, Toronto had the most tech talent growth, up 88,900 jobs, followed by Seattle with an increase of 45,560 jobs, and Vancouver which saw an increase of 44,460 positions,” notes the CBRE Research report.
Among the emerging Canadian tech markets, Quebec City in the francophone province of Quebec also grew by leaps and bounds during those five years.
“The highest percentage growth was 63 per cent in Vancouver, 44 per cent in Toronto and 43 per cent in Quebec City,” the report states.
Toronto And Waterloo Region Now Innovation Hubs For Tech Sector
The impressive growth of the tech sector in southern Ontario has now reached such a critical mass as to make it an innovation hub.
“Toronto, Seattle and Canada’s Waterloo Region round out the top five most concentrated tech markets, ranging from 9.6 per cent to 10.3 per cent of their total employment,” states the report. “This sizeable concentration of highly-skilled workers offers an environment conducive to innovation.”
Despite the huge demand for skilled workers in Canada’s tech sector, the hot spots for jobs are not necessarily producing enough workers with the skills to fill them in those cities.
Toronto produced barely a third of the tech degrees, roughly 32.9 per cent or 29,312, it needed for employers to fill the 88,900 new tech jobs in the past five years.
Vancouver fared even worse when it came to churning out enough tech workers, producing only 31.6 per cent, or 14,041, of the 44,460 tech degrees it needed during the same period.
In Quebec City, where labour market shortages are among the most serious in Canada, only 2,313 tech degrees were issued in the past five years, or not even 21.7 per cent of the 10,700 new tech jobs.
That shortage of tech workers in these three Canadian cities means opportunities for immigration for foreign nationals with tech skills, particularly in software engineering.
Those opportunities, though, do not apply across all of the top 50 tech markets throughout North America. In many places, there are actually more students graduating with tech degrees than there are jobs, making competition for jobs more intense.
New York City produced 10 times more new tech grads than new tech jobs in the past five years. Boston cranked out almost 16 times as many tech grads as new tech jobs. And Los Angeles graduated more than three times as many tech experts as it created new tech jobs during the same period.
Chief Information Officer Expects Tech Labour Shortage To Last At Least Two More Years
In a report in October last year, Canadian SMBs: Optimistic, Hiring, and Looking to Make a Difference: Canadian Small-to-Medium Businesses are Confident, but Face Hiring, Cyber and Supply Chain Challenges, KPMG Canada noted the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many businesses work.
In the new reality, many more companies need more employees with digital skills, especially cyber security and data analytics. As a result, 68 per cent of Canadian businesses were then estimated to be struggling to hire people with the right skill sets to achieve growth.
Many were then already turning to immigration to fill jobs going begging for a lack of skilled workers in Canada.
“Attraction, retention and development of talent is the number one issue,” wrote Mary Jo Fedy, a national leader with KPMG Enterprise, in that report.
“To attract and retain talent, SMBs will need to give employees more of what they want by adopting hybrid work models and addressing climate, equality and diversity issues.”
On CIO.com, a news source for chief information officers, a news report estimated roughly 80 per cent of Canadian businesses need more tech workers.
In that article, Pythian chief technology officer Paul Lewis is quoted as saying the IT skills shortage in Canada will likely last at least two more years.
“We haven’t gotten to a point where it has started to slow down yet,” he reportedly said. “I’m not sure we’ve passed the peak or we’ve even hit the peak.”
Economic Immigration Offers Hope To Foreign Nationals And Canadian Employers
Employers hoping to hire a foreign national can avail themselves of this international talent and labour through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), and the International Mobility Program (IMP).
Under normal circumstances, the Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the (TFWP), can lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.
Employers can also bring in foreign nationals to fill available positions through the Express Entry system, which receives immigration applications online.
Applicants who meet eligibility criteria submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program, to the Express Entry Pool.
The candidates’ profiles are then ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are considered for ITAs for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees within a delay of 90 days.