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Alberta’s tech sector needs qualified newcomers with strong “soft skills”: new study

Ottawa, November 29, 2021— Stronger participation of international newcomers in Alberta’s digital economy could be realized through better mechanisms for assessing international credentials, skills, and competencies; more inclusive hiring practices; and access to both technical and soft skills upskilling programs; among other measures.

ICTC’s new report, Settling for More: Matching Newcomers to Alberta’s Tech Sector, investigates how to enhance newcomer integration into Alberta’s digital economy. It examines current labour supply and demand, and offers potential solutions to six key challenges faced by newcomers, such as:

  • The requirement for Canadian experience
  • Effective networking and job search
  • Navigating the application and interview process, and others

Each year, Canada attracts large numbers of internationally educated professionals who have skills and experience suited to the digital economy. Unfortunately, this talent is often underutilized, adversely impacting the economy and the newcomers. For example, unrecognized foreign credentials contribute to a net loss of $13.4 to $17 billion in Canadian earnings, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

At the same time, Alberta’s digital economy has weathered the pandemic better than other sectors and continues to grow, with a high demand for talent. ICTC’s research findings anticipate that employment in Alberta’s digital economy will reach 203,000 by 2025.


To meet this growth potential, all sources of talent will be needed—new graduates, workforce transitioners, and newcomers.


“As Alberta’s economy continues to forge a strong digital future, leveraging the full potential of global talent streams and Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs) will be critical in the coming years. The recipe for success in digital talent onboarding is the confluence of technical and soft skills that create the impetus for business innovation and growth,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO.


* Coinciding with the release of this report, ICTC is hosting a Settling for More Mix-and-Mingle Event on Monday Nov 29, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST.
Register to hear presentations from industry leaders and international talent, network, and help advance Alberta’s talent supply.


To arrange an interview or other media inquiries related to this study, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.


This study was done in partnership with the Alberta Ministry of Labour and Immigration. The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.


About ICTC

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.



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