On March 29, 2022 the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) released “Talent & Skills Strategy.” As per the release, this situation is not unique to Canadian technology companies, or Canada in general, but the way Canadian governments respond to the talent crisis must be unique, competitive, and united if we are to see Canadian firms succeed in the global war for talent.
The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI), which represents some of Canada’s top growing companies made following 13 recommendations. They urged the federal government to implement a new visa to allow high-skilled technology workers to enter Canada without a job letter.
Coordination and Capacity Building
- Convene a national summit to develop a coordinated skilled labour strategy with representatives from federal and provincial governments and associated university associations.
- Apply a skilled talent lens to all government economic policies and programs, to avoid unintended consequences which exacerbate the tech labour crunch.
- Introduce a High Potential Tech Visa, to give the most in-demand professionals a path to Canada without a job offer in hand.
- Launch a Digital Nomad Strategy to make Canada a destination for the growing ranks of remote workers.
- Review and revise the National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes more regularly to better reflect the shifting nature of technology jobs in Canada.
- Ease pathways to permanent residency within the Global Talent Stream visa program.
- Expand the recognition of international and alternative credentials for Canadian visa applicants.
- Enhance the Global Skills Strategy immigration program with a targeted 48-hour visa processing time.
- Offer funding and support to Canadian businesses who develop up-skilling or re-training programs to train their workforce.
- Incentivize post-secondary institutions to develop better experiential learning opportunities, including longer co-op placements, to establish a talent pipeline from universities to Canadian companies.
- Commit to leaving the tax treatment of employee stock options unchanged, to give high-growth Canadian companies the certainty to recruit workers using this key compensation tool.
- Introduce a permanent 12-month student loan repayment grace period for new graduates who work for Canadian firms.
- Introduce tax-advantaged loan repayment benefits for employers who make contributions towards their employees’ outstanding student debt.