Not a Shortage, But an Opportunity
Today is budget day in Canada. Not generally the kind of thing we jump up and down about around here, but this time, this year, it’s different.
Words like innovation, diversification and automation are hot on the minds of Canadians and heavily in the spotlight from both a federal and political level, right down to business owners, job seekers, and the everyday fabric of our local economies.
We’ve learned that by 2020, our seemingly modern Canadian workplace will be short 220,000 skilled workers in the digital communications and technology sector.
Some predictions point toward 40% of existing jobs becoming irrelevant or disappearing altogether over the next decade thanks to robotics, automation and, yes, technology. The result? A workplace that’s changing faster than the labour market or education system can keep up with, and a situation where we have “people without jobs, and jobs without people,” in the words of Craig Alexander, senior vice president and chief economist at The Conference Board of Canada.
Simply put, Canada has failed to train enough people to fill the jobs we’ve always thought of as ‘the future,’ when in reality, they are the careers of today and economic demand of the here and now.
Equally unfortunate is that, when it comes to digital communications, we’re talking about one of the few employment sectors that not only offers great jobs and a great wage, but unparalleled longterm security, stability and growth.
We know this all too well at The Social School, but even more so at Press + Post, where our client’s ever-increasing need for highly sophisticated digital campaigns, search engine optimization and content amplification techniques, for example – all things that get their brand or business seen and heard in a highly crowded on and offline world – require an exceptionally modern marketing skill set, and one that can feel a bit ninja-esque at times, notably when it comes to sourcing available talent and expertise.
Thus, we know what’s needed for the businesses of both today and tomorrow, big and small, and we’re training entrepreneurs, marketers and working professionals of all stripes and skill levels to get in the game now. To take their traditional education or existing work experience, and punch it up and out of the park.
The way we see it? Not as a shortage, but an opportunity. Because just as every company is now a media company and every consumer now a publisher, there is no longer a division between tech and non-tech. Today, we are all technology companies in one way or another, ready or not.
Challenging economic environment or otherwise, the time to learn is now, and we’re exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to help arm Canadians with the skills they need, and pave the way for greater innovation and participation as citizens of an increasingly digital world for decades to come.
Yours in lifelong learning, technical training and embracing tomorrow today,
– Team Social School
*More interesting stuff:
Digital Talent: Road to 2020 and Beyond is Canada’s first national digital talent strategy. It highlights the opportunities and challenges facing Canada’s digital economy and underscores the importance of digital talent as one of the most critical advantages for Canada in a global economy. The strategy is aimed at ensuring that Canadians are well prepared to succeed as skilled workers and entrepreneurs in today’s fast pace economy.
“Despite the importance of technology adoption to business sector innovation and competitiveness, Canada’s adoption rate remains low compared to our international counterparts. One of the principal reasons for this is the lack of skilled workers who can assess and implement technological innovations.
This is particularly vital for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that acutely need skilled digital talent, but have limited means to train or find a job-ready workforce to respond to the fast-changing reality of the global economic landscape. It is, therefore, critical that skilled digital talent is available so that companies can effectively adopt and leverage digital technologies.”
“Canada’s digital economy currently employs 877,470 ICT professionals spread throughout all sectors of the economy. The growth in digital jobs has outpaced the overall economy in the last two years by more than 4 to 1, leading to a strong demand of 182,000 skilled ICT workers by 2019.
Unfortunately, the domestic supply of ICT graduates and workers will be insufficient to meet this demand. Engaging all available talent, including women, youth, immigrants, Indigenous persons and persons with disabilities, will be critical in mitigating the talent shortage. We also need to ensure that new graduates have the practical knowledge and skills they need to enter the workforce quickly and add value to Canadian businesses.”