Several experts over the past few years have identified critical tech talent shortages in Canada and around the world, resulting in severe consequences for many economies. According to a survey by the Business Development Bank of Canada, 53% of small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) say the labour shortage will cause them to limit business investment.
A 2018 report from Deloitte projected a 7% annual increase in demand for cyber security talent across the country, with organizations needing to fill about 3,600 cyber security positions between now and 2021. Globally, the consulting firm projects a 1.8 million-person shortage in cyber security professionals by 2022.
More broadly, there are great demands for tech talent across Canada that aren’t being met. What makes things worse is that most talent ends up in large cities and companies, leaving SMBs in the dust. To combat the tech talent shortage, US companies are hiring tech talent from Canada or opening up offices there as well. According to an Envoy study, 63% of large US companies are increasing their presence in Canada due to more favourable immigration policies.
Thankfully, Canada has and continues to be very immigrant-friendly. Last year the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced that Canada would increase the number of immigrants it accepts each year by 40,000, to a total 350,000 by 2021.
The Express Entry program is one of a few strong solutions to the ongoing tech talent shortage. This permanent residence application targets skilled workers and can be done completely online, and because of how streamlined it is, candidates who meet all the requirements can complete it in as little as 4 – 6 months.
As well, IRCC is increasing the number of international students it approves each year, up to 402,000 study permit approvals in 2019. To put this in perspective, IRCC approved only 215,000 study permits in 2015 – almost doubling the amount in just 4 years. This is part of IRCC’s plan to increase the number of skilled workers who were able to study and work in Canada before becoming permanent residents.
If you’re interested in coming to Canada as a student, or getting permanent residency through Express Entry, we’d love for you to join the Visto community by signing up for our free portal here!