For years, Canadian technology companies have struggled to attract the right candidates to fill vacancies that would ultimately help them expand and grow. Attracting, hiring and retaining the right talent is imperative to the growth of technology firms in the country. Not only does Canada need engineering graduates, but also experienced individuals with senior-level experience at renowned tech firms, especially those that have helped to grow businesses internationally. Overall, vacancies are outnumbering candidates and needs are not being met.
Unfortunately, the U.S. has historically attracted the right candidates in larger numbers due to a more established technology sector. At the same time, an increasing number of large foreign companies are entering Canada, making it even harder other for Canadian firms to attract talent. There are too many jobs and not enough candidates. In order to attract the right talent, Canada has to look outward and beyond the current Canadian technology ecosystem.
This is why, in 2017 the Global Talent Stream was introduced by the federal government. The main aim of the program was to boost the skilled talent pool in Canada. The program was introduced with an initial 2-year timeline, during which time high growth firms can gain access to highly sought after skilled foreign workers.
Key Elements Of The Global Talent Stream
- Two-week standard for processing Canada work permit applications (and Canada visa applications when applicable) for highly skilled talent.
- Dedicated service for companies looking to make significant job-creating investments in Canada.
- Companies applying for workers through the Global Talent Stream will have access to the new streamlined application process that will provide:
- Client-focused service to help guide eligible employers through the application process and the development of the Labour Market Benefits Plan, with a service standard of 10 business days.
- Eligibility for workers to have their work permit applications processed in 10 business days.
Prior to the introduction of this program, it would take more than a year for Ottawa to issue visas for foreign skilled workers, which is needless to say, far too long for any candidate to wait for a visa. Under the previous system, even at the end of the year the visa may or may not be granted. Today, the same visa process guarantees a 14-day turnaround. The Global Talent Stream is part of a broader Global Skills Strategy, which also includes work permit exemptions for managers, professionals and researchers.
The Global Talent Stream was launched in 2017 and has since received more than 800 applications for over 900 vacancies. The program has been used by over 300 employers and over 70 employers have returned to apply for more visas. Not only does the Global Talent Stream help employers in the present by adding talented and experienced employees to the team, it also adds to the future growth of a company.
Global Skills Strategy Work Permit Exemption: Requirements
Whether applying at a visa off or Port of Entry, a candidate must provide documents to show the short-term exemption applies. These documents should include:
- Formal job offer
- Letter from employer describing duties, NOC code and period of employment
Researchers also require the following documents:
- Letter from qualifying institution describing duties, research to be completed and NOC code.
- Proof of educational qualifications to establish academic excellence.
- Description of how candidate will add value to the research project.
By helping technology firms add the right talent in order to support overall growth, this program ultimately helps to create a much larger pool of new jobs for everyone, including Canadians. In order to create the Global Talent Stream, the federal government spoke to several Canadian tech CEOs to discover how to make the most efficient program that would tackle the problem of talent shortage head on. The next natural step would be to continue working with the heads of tech companies and other innovators and resourceful members of the industry to make this pilot program a permanent fixture.
Time for Successful Global Talent Stream to Be Made Permanent
How to Access Short-Term Canada Work Permit Exemptions Under Global Skills Strategy
How to Hire Top Skilled Workers Under Canada’s Global Talent Stream
This program is much needed in Canada where reports show that by 2020 the country will experience a shortage of almost 220,000 tech workers due to inadequate supply to match the ever-growing demand, according to the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC).
Other actions that the federal government can take include working with innovators to develop a national talent-retention strategy, and promotion of science, technology, engineering and math education in all academic institutions that are publicly funded.