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The Need for Tech Talent

Calgary is suffering from a significant “skills gap.” The city is home to nearly 225,000 professionals with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) backgrounds, according to a report conducted by ICTC Canada in partnership with CED. It has the most highly educated population in the country, and yet many employers cannot find employees with the digital skills they need.

In the last few years, thousands of employees were displaced in Alberta due to the downturn in Energy sector. The good news is many of these displaced employees have significant retraining opportunities in emerging technologies due to transferrable skills found in geoscientists and engineers.

For example, according to CED/ICTC’s report, the average geoscientist has nearly 60 per cent of the core skills and competencies needed to become a data analyst, while the average chemical engineer has nearly 40% skills to become a Software Developer.

Namir Anani, president and CEO of ICTC Canada, said “[We] have the largest number of engineers per capita in Canada,” he said. “It is a gold mine to attract the businesses of the future, if we can figure out how to pivot this environment and get oil and gas workers into the future.”

In 2018, Manpower partnered with SAIT Polytechnic to launch the retraining and development program: TECHCareers. Fully funded by the Government of Alberta, this program aims to narrow the skills gap in Alberta’s workforce by offering 26-weeks of compressed accelerated training in Software Development and offer solutions to both Alberta’s workforce and local employers by providing students with an eight-week internship.

“advancement of technology skills is critical to meeting the needs of Alberta’s economy. SAIT is proud to be partnering on the TECHCareers program, increasing access to education that will accelerate the growth of tech talent to meet the needs of our workforce.”-Dr. Raynie Wood/Dean of the School of Information and Communication Tech, SAIT.

With the challenging few years Alberta has faced with the loss of oil revenues, now is more critical than ever to ensure the advancement of our tech sector. With a focus on retaining and retraining Alberta’s already skilled workforce, we can guarantee a bright future for this provinces job market, economy, and development.

Read CED/ICTC’s full report on Calgary’s digital economy here: https://bit.ly/2LVVm5s

Learn more about how TECHCareers is solving Alberta’s skills gap here: http://www.techcareers.ca/

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