The Canadian province of Alberta has launched an online platform to connect job seekers with IT companies after an official study found a large number of digital firms struggling to hire workers despite a soaring unemployment rate.
As many as 2,000 positions for professionals such as software engineers, data scientists, coders, and programmers have remained vacant, according to CBC News, which cites Mary Moran, the CEO of Calgary Economic Development, one of the governmental agencies that took part in the study.
“Every single company cites the same problem: talent, talent, talent,” Moran said.
Around 70,000 people are currently employed in the digital sector in the province, with the study expecting the creation of another 9,000 ‘core digital’ jobs over the next four years.
Thanks to the rising demand, IT workers are earning 55% higher salaries compared to the average pay for workers in other sectors.
According to the report, software professionals are the workers that are most in demand.
The online platform, according to the provincial government, will serve as ‘a knowledge bridge’ by not only putting job-seekers in contact with tech employers, but also guiding them on where they can learn the skills required by the industry.
Alberta’s economy was powered by the oil and gas industry, but the 2015 oil price downturn forced energy companies to shed more than 20,000 jobs. As a result, the unemployment rate is now hovering over 7%. .
Although currently core digital positions make up barely 3% of all employment in the province, several other types of digital jobs are likely to emerge in the years ahead as more and more industries adopt technology-driven solutions to streamline their operations.