Attracting, Retaining and Training International Educated Professionals:
February 21, 2007

OTTAWA, February 21, 2007 - Findings by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) identified challenges facing Canada's ICT sector in its efforts to attract, retain and train internationally educated professionals, as detailed in a consultation report produced by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance).

The report, On the Road to Building an ICT Framework for Internationally EducatedProfessionals (IEP), offers insights into the barriers facing IEPs in Canada looking to find employment in their field of study, and the hiring practices of Canadian employers with respect to IEP applicants.

According to the surveys and focus group findings, the most predominant barrier facing new Canadians seeking to break into Canada's ICT sector is communication skills. As often iterated, the importance of the interpersonal skills paired with technical skills is at the forefront for securing employment in the ICT sector.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to spearhead an initiative that is this vital to the ICT sector," says ICTC President Paul D. Swinwood and member of the CATA Board of Directors. "We have heard from stakeholders across Canada that there is a skills issue and the first phase of the IEP project allowed us to identify some of these issues facing industry and IEPs in the ICT sector."

The report is a part of ICTC's Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Initiative, and is funded by the Human Resources and Social Development's Foreign Credential Recognition program. It was completed in a collaborative partnership between CATAAlliance and its member companies, The Access Group and Adecco.

"The report is based upon the findings of two national surveys and six focus groups separately involving both employers and IEPs," says Kevin Wennekes, VP Research for CATAAlliance. "As such, the findings offer some excellent comparisons regarding the unique perceptions of each of these groups, as well as providing solutions for what both need, and need to do, in order to better integrate these skills into the Canadian workforce."

Both ICTC and CATAAlliance believes a system that includes and integrates all highly qualified ICT professionals is key to ensuring that Canada is globally competitive, and seek to continue working with industry, educational providers, and government towards finding solutions that will address industry needs and allow for better integration of IEPs. The need for this research was emphasized by Keith Carter, Vice President, Business Development of Procom Consultants Group - a member on the Boards for both ICTC and CATAAlliance.

"Every ICT company and organization in Canada has witnessed globalization first hand," explains Mr. Carter. "This research defines the exact barriers many IEPs are facing and will allow ICTC to better understand the experience of 'New Canadians' seeking employment in our sector. Now that the research has been completed, I will be very excited to see ICTC's ideas on how to enhance the integration of IEPs and how Canada can utilize this important resource within our economy."

++ Action item:
Register to receive the report at http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/ICTCframework.aspx

About ICTC
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit sector council, funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. We are dedicated to creating a strong, prepared and highly-educated Canadian ICT industry and workforce. ICTC is a catalyst for change that will provide labour market intelligence, life-long professional development and quality education and training for the Canadian ICT industry, educators, governments and the ICT workforce. We forge partnerships that will help develop the quantity and quality of ICT professionals needed to maintain and improve Canada's position as a leader in the global marketplace. For more information please contact communications@ictc-ctic.ca or visit www.ictc-ctic.ca

About CATAAlliance
Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) (www.cata.ca) is Canada's leading, most influential and entrepreneurial technology alliance. It is committed to growing the global competitiveness of its members, 80% of which are currently active exporters. The common purpose that unites the membership is CATAAlliance's commitment to members' business growth. With offices across the country, we are focused on the provision of business services and government relations programs that conserve and leverage member resources. Because members are action-oriented businesses, CATAAlliance responds with action when members need specific services or activities. The "Traditional Champion" of Canadian research and development, CATAAlliance's mission is to stimulate "Global Business Growth" through the forces of Canadian innovation and strategic partnership. Visit http://www.cata.ca and read our Executive Briefing