The Next Talent Wave: Navigating the Digital Shift – ICTC’s Labour Market Outlook Report 2017-2021

By 12 April 2017 No Comments

Today, the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) released its labour market forecast for the next 5 years, a critical toolbox for navigating the multifaceted and rapidly evolving ICT employment landscape in Canada.

A nation’s capacity to innovate is a fundamental driver for economic growth and social prosperity. At the heart of this equation is skilled digital talent that continues to fuel the creative capital of our nation. However, the work force of tomorrow is rapidly changing amidst unprecedented technological advancements, evolving global economic outlook, as well as social, demographic, trade, and environmental prospects. “In many cases, change in one of these areas will result in change in another and vice versa, leading to a chain reaction of accelerated transformation with broad impact and implications on the labour market” said Jack Noppé, Kinaxis Chief Technology Officer.

Moreover, technology drivers such as Artificial Intelligence, 5G Mobile, Virtual & Augmented Reality, 3D Printing, and Blockchain are all radically redefining the skills needs of tomorrow. The rise of the gig economy is now also reshaping the employment landscape into a more autonomous, freelance, and a globally mobile workforce. Previous industrial revolutions were marked by a net positive change. The demarcation lines between business and ICT occupations are also rapidly blurring in an environment where the future of work is increasingly digital.

While these and many other factors are redefining the global labour market, here in Canada, the demand for skilled digital talent continues to intensify. ICTC’s outlook report asserts that by 2021 around 216,000 critical digital talent positions will need to be filled. While this is indicative of a vibrant digital economy, the proportion of youth entering the ICT workforce is several folds smaller compared to the proportion of older workers nearing retirement. The recent 2017 Federal Budget set out welcomed measures in investments in workforce development that will further heighten Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy.

“The hyperconnected landscape continues to reshape the future of work by 2021. While the quest for skilled digital talent is increasingly borderless, nurturing a robust youth talent supply in Canada remains a priority for enabling a strong foundation of digital innovators.” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

This study was funded by:

The Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program