It’s time for the ICT sector to take a look at the growing Indigenous population in Canada.
According to Information and Communications Technology Council’s (ICTC) National Digital Talent Strategy, Digital Talent – Road to 2020 and Beyond report, 10,300 – 1.2 per cent of the Canadian Indigenous population – were employed in ICT roles in 2016. This is the highest percentage in recent years, indicating growth and progress is on the rise, but creating even more growth in this area is of increasing importance.
“Canada’s growing young indigenous population is an important talent source for the digital economy. Harnessing the full potential of this talent supply will be paramount in the next number of years,” said Namir Anani, ICTC president and CEO.
With this report, ICTC hopes to promote economic development and positive social outcomes among Indigenous communities through engagements with the Canadian digital economy, as well as the lay the groundwork for increasing and improving the Canadian ICT supply pipeline.
A statement put out by the company said that, “Together, these mutually-beneficial outcomes representing diversity and economic progress market the cornerstone of a Canadian digital economy that is inclusive, and sustainable.”
The report comes after ICTC forecasted that 216,000 ICT roles will need to be filled in Canada by 2021. As one of the fastest growing demographic groups in Canada, the report estimates that by 2021 the Indigenous workforce in ICT will increase by 45,000. By 2026 that number could be 72,000 and as high as 103,500 by 2031.
The effect on Canada’s digital economy is an enormous reason why the ICT sector should be taking advantage of this critical Canadian demographic. For instance, the report states that ‘the share of Indigenous peoples with university degrees has markedly increased over the past decade, an increase that is estimated to have accounted for $4.92 billion of GDP generated in 2011’.
ICTC estimates that by removing the gap in educational attainment, employment rate, and income between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations by 2031 could create an additional $335 billion in economic activity. On top of that, it would provide organizations with a larger talent pool to dip in to.
For more, you can read the full ICTC National Digital Talent Strategy, Digital Talent – Road to 2020 and Beyond report here.