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Strategies for Addressing Canada’s Tech Talent Gap: Leveraging Micro-Credentials, Accessible Training Programs, and Diversity in Hiring

The Future Economy | Julia Blackburn | May 15, 2023

Online training course - Strategies for Addressing Canada's Tech Talent Gap: Leveraging Micro-Credentials, Accessible Training Programs, and Diversity in Hiring

Despite a booming tech industry post-Covid, Canada is grappling with a severe tech talent shortage.

  • Problem:
    • 2021 report from KPMG:  A significant 68% of Canadian businesses are struggling to hire skilled tech talent.  Anticipated 2.26 million digital jobs expected by 2025. The country faces an urgent need to leverage untapped talent from underrepresented groups, including women, newcomers, and job-seekers from rural areas.
    • Lack of resources to acquire digital skills among Canadians (81%) and existing gaps in access to digital technology and skills development, based on age, ethnicity, income, and geographic location.
    • Traditional forms of education are not a panacea either, with financial and time constraints making them less viable for vulnerable groups.  Particularly for women, who represent only 23% of the tech workforce, and immigrants, who suffer an annual wage loss of up to $12.6 billion due to underemployment.

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  • What can be done:
    • Micro-credentials:
      • This is a less costly and time-consuming alternative to traditional higher education. It is especially beneficial for vulnerable groups as it allows them to acquire in-demand tech skills while managing other responsibilities.
      • Due to the constantly evolving nature of tech, short-term credentials demonstrating commitment to ongoing learning can bridge the gap between existing knowledge and the changing demands of the labour market.
    • Accessible programs:
      • These should be designed in collaboration with industry experts and employers to ensure relevance to current and future market needs. A focus on transferable skills, including soft skills, is essential due to the diverse range of industries requiring tech skills. This shift also reduces hiring biases and cultivates a new generation of digital talent.
      • Programs that focus on employability skills are particularly useful for newcomers to Canada.

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    • Non-traditional pathways and diverse talent:
      • Employers should recognize the value of micro-credentials, hire based on skill and potential, and not solely on traditional education.
      • A McKinsey report highlights the economic growth potential of diverse candidates, emphasizing the need for creativity in sourcing talent from non-traditional channels.
      • This approach not only widens the talent pool but also enriches organizational culture with diverse experiences and perspectives.
      • Employers should also work closely with training and education programs for skills-based hiring and embed EDI in their organizations to attract diverse talent.

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Strategies for Addressing Canada's Tech Talent Gap: Leveraging Micro-Credentials, Accessible Training Programs, and Diversity in HiringThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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