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ICT Sector Needs Access to the Global Talent Pool

OTTAWA, Jan. 31, 2014 /CNW/ - With an unemployment rate of two percent and an aging workforce, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry needs access to the global technology labour market in order to maintain its growth rate and competitiveness. Access to the global talent the industry needs has been made more difficult due to changes in regulations made by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in 2013. In a white paper released today, ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada, and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) outlined the importance of global workers in the Canadian ICT labour and made recommendations to ESDC and Citizenship and Immigration Canada for reforms.

"Our industry is deeply committed to the creation of a robust Canadian ICT workforce and high value ICT jobs," said Karna Gupta, President and CEO of ITAC. "Our unemployment rate indicates we employ virtually every skilled ICT professional that we can find. Our industry faces chronic shortages of highly skilled people and, if we can't find them in Canada, we need to attract them from other parts of the world.

"We are encouraged by recent indications that the Government understands the unique situation that Canada's digital industries are facing and we hope the release of this white paper will provide some useful suggestions that will recognize the importance of global workers to our industry," he said.

About ITAC:
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 572,700 jobs, $155.3 billion in revenue, $6.2 billion in R&D investment, $30.4 billion in exports and $11 billion in capital expenditures that the ICT industry contributes annually to the Canadian economy. The ICT sector currently represents 4.9 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) and accounted for 9.4 per cent of all real GDP growth since 2002. ITAC is a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada's innovative capacity and for stronger productivity across all sectors through the strategic use of technology.

SOURCE Information Technology Association of Canada

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