“There is clearly a gap in demand and supply of technology professionals in British Columbia, considering the large number of startups that exist here,” says Fazil Mihlar, Deputy Minister, Ministry of jobs, Trade and Technology.
Currently, British Columbia accounts for about 10,200 companies and is approximately 28.9 billion dollars in revenue. There has been an increase in technology jobs in British Columbia from over 60,000 in 2002 to more than 1, 10,000 now. Further, it would need over 80,000 jobs in the next 10 years across sectors. To cater to the talent needs of a large number of companies and the growing demand for tech jobs, British Columbia is looking rope in Indian talent under its provincial nominee program.
Under the program, the provincial government could nominate over 6,000 people every year to the federal government for permanent residency in British Columbia. This will be done based on an online points system that assesses the applicant’s work experience, language skills and education, among other factors. The minimum application processing time for the immigrants under this program could be two to four months and for the tech-pilot program, it could be two to three weeks.
“India with its huge talent pool of required skill sets can be a big source of professionals and skilled personnel for our companies in British Columbia”, says Fazil Mihlar.
Further, to attract global talent, British Columbia is also setting up an Immigrant Employment Council (IEC).
Although British Columbia is Canada's leader in tech and has one of the fastest growing tech eco-systems in the world, it feels the current supply cannot meet the industry's growing demands for tech talent. Hence, it is actively looking to seek and attract global talent to fill in this gap between demand and supply of talent. And India being the country of growing tech talent is an attractive location for the province.
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology said, “We are looking for typically higher skill and knowledge. India has a great reputation in the information technology sector and we are excited about attracting the Indian talent."
In 2017, the top countries for the citizenship for nominees program were India, China, South Korea, Australia and the UK and those with jobs in the tech sector represented 16 percent of all nominees.