Digital transformation continues to radically change the face of business in Canada. The advent of the collaborative economy, the rise of advanced robotics, the adoption of blockchain in financial services, and advances in autonomous cars are all a manifestation of the innovative nature of the global digital landscape. These innovations are ushering in a new era of convenience, affordability, and responsiveness that are expected to significantly disrupt traditional markets in the coming years. This accelerated wave of business transformation, however, comes amidst signs of interest rate hikes, changing global trade landscape, and heightening demand for skilled digital talent. In this dynamic environment, ICTC continues to drive a forward looking digital agenda for Canada by delivering advanced research and labour market forecasts, innovative talent programs, and evidence-based policies that chart a path forward for Canada in the global economy.
In 2016, growth, strength, and measurable successes were the hallmarks of ICTC. Our commitment to address the digital skills gap to support industry growth led us to the release of Canada’s first Digital Talent Strategy (Digital Talent: Road to 2020 and Beyond). Through partnership with Microsoft Canada, this strategy encouraged crucial dialogue, empowered the creation of the Canadian Leadership Taskforces, and prompted the development of solutions on: Diversity and Inclusion, Education and Skills, and Industry Growth. We additionally continued to grow the range of tools available to all ICTC’s stakeholders which included expanding features on eTalentCanada and the HR Portals. Also, we partnered with key organizations to strengthen the Labour Market offerings in Canada, including the BC Tech Labour Market partnership, and the launch of the EngScape portal by Engineers Canada.We also continued to strengthen our evidence based-policy advice and released several key reports, among them: the Digital Economy Immigration Stream, Critical infrastructure in a Hyperconnected Economy, and Talent Imperative in a Global Context.
The results speak for themselves, in this past year ICTC had wide ranging successes in speaking and advancing important dialogue on innovation and the digital economy at over 17 key national and international events and had the privilege of having 76 leading organizations participate in its advisory committees. On the youth agenda, around 103 recent graduates started careers in the industry through ICTC’s CareerConnect program, over 102 Canadian teams participated in the CyberTitans educational competition, while our Focus on IT schooling program continued to expand across Canada. Additionally, over 1,200 internationally educated ICT professionals (IEPs) leveraged the GO Talent Initiative for pre-arrival and job matching services with Canadian employers, and around 49 IEPs participated in ICTC’s transformative immigration (IWES) program. I would like to conclude by extending a special thank you to all of our partners and stakeholders for their valuable support and trust in our mandate, to the Board members for their guidance, and to our very talented staff for their remarkable creativity and efforts in advancing the goals of ICTC.
2017 is shaping to be a very promising year and I encourage you to stay tuned to ICTC’s upcoming initiatives.