CATA Temporary Workers Advocacy Initiative: LegacyNEXT CEO Adds to Call for Adoption of Desired Changes
February 15, 2016

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++ Action Item:  Please review the details of the CATA Temporary Workers Advocacy Initiative below, and then benefit from additional insights and rationale for adoption of desired changes provided by Legacy NEXT, CEO, Susan Dineen. See presentation materials, including audio commentary on-line at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxDKnRH5nv2uMDVIdmk3VFBWZHc/view?usp=sharing


Background:

Major Industry Group Calls for Return to Three-Year Work Permits for Temporary Technology Workers to Help Ease Industry Skill Shortage: Add Your Support!


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Ottawa, ON – CATAAlliance (www.cata.ca), Canada's One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group, is calling on the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to return to their previous guideline of three-year work permits issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The immigration department recently moved to issuing temporary work permits to foreign workers -- who are needed to address labour market shortages and to provide other economic opportunities for Canadians – for only one year, instead of the standard three years.

Previous guidelines for temporary foreign workers were for three-year terms which allowed companies to gain the full value of adding international technology specialists on a temporary basis. But now the immigration department favors one-year work permits which means that temporary employees have a reduced time to add value to Canadian technology companies and the companies need to spend valuable resources to start the process over again with new workers.

CATA CEO John Reid said “At a time when Canada needs to increase the pool of key technology talent, the immigration department is now making it more difficult and more expensive for technology companies to hire enough highly skilled technical workers. We’re asking for the Department of Immigration to return to its three-year guideline for work permits, develop nationwide programs for better assimilation into the Canadian workforce and lifestyle, and to open up the opportunity for citizenship for these technology workers.”
A report released by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) suggests the expected growth of smart and hyper connected marketplace mean that cumulative hiring requirements in Canada for ICT Talent are expected to be over 182,000 by 2019. Experts agree that Canada will be hard pressed to meet the demand for workers with ICT skills and thus suffer productivity declines.

“In the long term the Canadian government needs to support the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives in order to develop a stronger technology labour force, and in the mid-term, Canada needs to retrain employees who have been displaced from the workforce due to reduction in oil industry demands. But in the short term, Canada needs to expedite the process to bring qualified technology workers into Canada from other countries. It’s not about replacing Canadian workers, but rather to add specialists with skills that we don’t currently have enough of in our labour force,” Reid added.

As an example, Northforge Innovations, a tech company which provides intellectual capital for developing cloud infrastructure products, has an ongoing need to hire highly skilled software developers. “This skill set is rare and hard to find, requiring 6 to 12 months for us to identify and engage the right software developer. Once hired, it takes a minimum of 12 months to become fully productive in this very complex environment,” said Brenda Pastorek, president and chief operating officer of Northforge Innovations and member, CATA Innovation Leadership Council. In our business product development cycles are typically three years we expect a minimum three-year tenure for these developer to complete a product development life cycle. Therefore to address the product life cycle expectations and to achieve a return on investment, our company needs to retain our developers for a minimum of three years.”

++ Action Item

Mobilization & Engagement: If you have an individual or organizational interest in collaborating with CATAAlliance to advance the Temporary Technology Workers Advocacy Initiative, then please contact CATAAlliance, CEO, John Reid at jreid@cata.ca  You can also sign up for the CATA moderated Social Media Group (12,600 members) at: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Canadian-Advanced-Technology-Alliance-CATA-37239/about

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The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) is Canada's One Voice for Innovation Lobby Group, crowdsourcing ideas and guidance from thousands of opt in members in moderated social networks in Canada and key global markets. (No Tech Firm Left Behind)