ICTC’s Innovation Agent Report: Path to eliminating Youth Underemployment

By 16 December 2016 No Comments

Ottawa, ON. – The Information and Communications Technology Council launched the findings of its latest youth report, Innovation Agent. The report showcases an opportunity for Ontario to address skills shortages in ICT workers by training underemployed graduates with skills through dedicated, targeted programs. The report highlights that Ontario’s future as a global technology leader is dependent on its skilled workers – the essential resource for the technology sector.

“This research, supported by Ontario’s Trillium Foundation, truly highlights our government’s commitment to education and skills. We are investing in applicable tools to boost our technology training for youth and teachers in Ottawa,” said Yasir Naqvi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre. “This training fills in the gap identified by our technology sector to get newly graduated students into the work force and boosting our local economies. This is undoubtedly a deserving project,”  he said.

The report found that Ontario’s youth are graduating with some, but not all, of the skills employers are seeking to fill entry level positions.  Employers in Ontario and around the world are seeking a mix of technology, innovation, and business skills (or soft skill). The Innovation Agent study also noted a lack of preparation and understanding of how innovation can drive growth for many companies. The study suggests as a first step, providing recent graduates facing under or unemployment with innovation, technology, and business training to help document strong innovation case studies that can highlight innovation success and make it accessible for small Ontario companies.

“We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Government of Ontario who made our work on this report possible,” said Namir Anani, President and CEO of ICTC. “With the growth of social, mobile, cloud, and apps under the larger umbrella of the of the Internet of Things, preparing Ontario’s youth as innovation agents in this space will be key for enabling tomorrow’s digital economy” he said.

ICTC has been active in finding solutions to boost the digital skills in Canadian youth and advance the importance of technology workers across Canada. ICTC’s youth initiatives include:

  • ICTC’s National Digital Talent Strategy, launched in partnership with Microsoft Canada, that recommends advancing digital literacy and mandatory computer science for our youth.
  • Focus on IT that provides curriculum and materials for schools across Canada and certifies (#) students each year in technology literacy/skills
  • CyberTitan, a new high school cyber security competition launched in partnership with CyberPatriot in the US

ABOUT Ontario Trillium Foundation
An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $1.36 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build health and vibrant Ontario communities.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit national centre of expertise for the digital economy. Through trusted research, innovative talent solutions, and practical policy advice, ICTC fosters innovative and globally competitive Canadian industries empowered by a talented and diverse digital workforce.

The report is available through ICTC’s website