Engineering and Technology Labour Market Study

This study is examining the current and future employment picture within the engineering and technology sectors of the Canadian economy. Five issues are the focal point of the study:

  • Employer labour requirements
  • The available workforce
  • Attitudes and practices related to certification and licensing
  • The role of diversity groups
  • Globalization

You can check out the affiliated website or an interim report.

Here are some points of interest from the interim report.

  • Individuals who obtained their engineering degrees outside Canada accounted for approximately20% of all employment in engineering occupations
  • In 2006, members of visible minorities accounted for 25.8% of engineering employment and 14.9% of technology employment
  • In BC The engineering age profile is older than average and this adds to supply pressures

Those of you who attended our workshop on “soft-skills” will be aware of the following points:

  • Asked to rank a range of non-technical skills, by far the majority of employers ranked most of these skills between ‘essential’ and ‘very important’.
  •  More than 50% of employers identified serious weakness in the
    non-technical skills of internationally educated professionals as the greatest obstacle to hiring them into engineering jobs

 

Resource:VIATeC Newsletter

Those of you who want to keep track of what is happening in Victoria’s Hi-Tech sector should check out a weekly e-mail bulletin published by VIATeC. You can see company profiles, industry news and read about networking opportunities and other events. All free and pushed to your email in-box on a weekly basis !

Also see this page which has links to industry headlines.

BC’s High Technology sector

BC Stats has just released a profile of this province’s technology sector. Those interested may want to check out the 92 page pdf document for the whole profile but some of the highlights are excerpted below:
High tech comprises about 5.9% of British Columbia’s GDP

  • High tech employment in the province climbed 4.8% in 2007 to 81,140
  • Those people working in high technology jobs are paid far more than the average employee in the province. High tech workersearned an average of $1,100 per week, compared to an overall average of only $760 for employees in all industries
  • BC’s high technology sector continued to experience employment growth, adding 3,700 net new jobs in 2007, an increase of 4.8% from 2006

Source: PROFILE OF THE BRITISH COLUMBIA HIGH TECHNOLOGY SECTOR (2008 EDITION)

Carmanah cuts

One of Victoria’s largest technology companies, Carmanah Technologies Corp has announced cuts to its workforce. They will also be closingtheir manufacturing plant in Saanich. See this article for more information.

Items of note

I want to draw your attention to a couple of items you may find interesting.

  • For those of you looking to register for Camosun College courses that start in September we have been informed that you can begin registering on July 7th. Contact Camosun for more information.
  • The next VIATeC VIAfest is scheduled for July 31st. See their website for more info on this networking opportunity.

Stepping stones

Many of our clients who have professional designations in engineering, information technology, construction, electronics and other fields will want to take note of a recent article from the Times-Colonist. A common tactic for newcomers to Canada to take is to seek employment in their field at a level with less responsibility. This allows individuals to establish themselves, build their networks, dust off old skills and learn new ones as they improve their English language proficiency (if necessary).

With engineers and other professionals this can often mean working as a Technoligist or Technician which usually avoids the requirement of having to register with a professional association such as APEGBC. This allows immigrants to generate an income while they work towards their goal of having their credentials fully recognized.

The newly-formed Technology Education & Careers Council projects that there will be a 70% shortfall in supervisors, managers and contractors in trades and technologies. The Times-Colonist article claims that many technicians are retiring and that schools have had to cut related programs due to declining enrollment.

These new opportunites will allow many of you to find meaningful, viable employment as you continue to work on your long-term goals.

Speed-geeking

Are you looking to build your network or learn more about what is happening in the technology sector in Victoria ? Then you may want to check out aspeed-geeking event scheduled for this Thursday at VIATEC. Six local technology companies will be featured. Check out the VIATEC web site for more information.

It’s an email world

In today’s technology-driven world more employers are using on-line systems to manage the hiring process. This places pressure on job-seekers to demonstrate mastery of technology in all of their interactions with hiring managers.

Employers are constantly making assumptions as they wade through applications. A poorly constructed email message can send the same message to an employer as the dog-eared, mustard-stained resume of yore. 

Guy Kawasaki maintains an interesting blog that has a post regarding the proper use of email that should be essential reading, whether you are looking for a job or not.

Labour Market News

The Times-Colonist is reporting on a study that shows that the gambling industry in BC creates 16,400 jobs (135,000 across the country).

 The construction sector is still driving job growth in British Columbia. Over 152,000 skilled workers will be retiring from this sector over the next 10 years.

 There are about 650,000 information and communication technology workers in Canada. There is speculation that another 90,000 will be needed over the next 3-5 years.  Some are skeptical of this sector because of the dot com bust of recent memory which has resulted in declining enrolment in computer science engineering and computer engineering programs. While any sector can be subject to employment slumps, one of the enduring trends in the Canadian labour market is that technology is responsible for creating many new opportunities.

Camosun College Trades & Technology Recruitment Expo

Some of our clients will be interested in attending the Camosun College Trades & Technology Recruitment Expo on Tuesday April 3rd. Some of the employers exhibiting include 3D Geomatics Inc, Flynn Canada Ltd., Department of National Defence and the Victoria Shipyards Co. Ltd. Check out the events page on the Camosun website for more information on this event.