2016 TechTalentBC Report: Identifying Supply, Demand and Essential Skills in BC’s Growing Tech Sector

By 14 March 2017 No Comments

Launched in July 2016  with funding from the Province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training (JTST), the BC Tech Association (BC Tech), in partnership with ICTC and the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) embarked on a province and sector-wide labour market study, aimed at identifying the key talent challenges and opportunities pertaining to BC’s tech sector over a 5-year period from 2016-2021.

Spanning the province’s 7 economic regions[1], 5 technology subsectors[2] and 4 workforce development issues[3], the 2016 TechTalentBC Report revealed important findings on talent challenges, in terms of labour and skills shortages. The report carried out in-depth analysis of primary and secondary quantitative data, including results derived from the BC Tech Employer Survey, which received over 400 responses. This baseline was further strengthened by key informant interviews and other research.

The report evaluated labour demand and supply under the lenses of constrained and expanded job growth. Based on current supply conditions, the constrained growth scenario forecasted the development of nearly 16,500 jobs in BC’s tech sector, by 2021. By contrast, the expanded growth scenario revealed that tech sector demand is actually 3x that of the constrained scenario, forecasting the potential growth of more than 47,000 jobs in the same period.

Meeting the expanded growth scenario is dependent on the ability of tech sector to access the right talent for the right roles, at speed. With this in mind, the report asserts the importance of enhancing and supporting the three main streams of labour supply in British Columbia: post-secondary graduates, immigrants and other local talent including underrepresented groups and career transitioners.
Asserting the importance of both quantity and quality of talent, the report concludes with a call to action, centered on the following priorities:

  • Increasing the supply of graduates from tech and non-tech programs at post-secondary institutions
  • Increasing the supply of highly-skilled international talent to fill in-demand roles, where Canadian talent is not available; and
  • Expanding investment in training, upskilling and retooling initiatives that can help local BC talent transition into tech careers.

Combining expert feedback from BC’s employers, industry representatives and other relevant stakeholders, the 2016 TechTalentBC Report provides a comprehensive and robust view of BC’s tech sector needs and challenges, while underlining recommendations that can create positive results today and for years to come.
Access the full 2016 TechTalentBC Report here.


[1] Lower Mainland – Southwest, Vancouver Island & Coast, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenay, Cariboo, Northeast, North Coast & Nechako.

[2] Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Interactive & Digital Media (IDM), Clean Technology (CT), Life Sciences (LS) and Engineering Services (ES).

[3] Job Readiness, Immigration, Recruitment & Retention, Diversity & Outreach.