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ARC on CBC Radio

Speaking Notes from session on CBC Radio1 / March 2, 2012

ARC Representative: Graham Murray, President

Listen to the complete session at:
Issue:  Current Challenges in Alberta Labor Market
  • Not enough qualified IT resources to meet market demands
  • ARC has opportunities for 40 IT resources in Edmonton today
  • Problem is getting worse
  • Heavy growth started in 2006 and with a break in 2010 due to impacts from the world economic downturn, growth restarted in 2011 and hasn’t stopped…
  • Creates inflationary conditions – driving up costs
  • Driving customers to consider alternatives to satisfy their IT needs – such as off-shoring
  • Off-shoring – projects being worked on and delivered by non-Canadians in other countries.
  • Off-shoring is an option that companies are considering because of the lack of and the high cost of locally qualified candidates
  • Dollars being spent outside of Canada delivering solutions for Canadian companies
  • A customer told me the reason they off-shored was that they felt they could not staff a 100 person IT team locally.  They were likely right.
  • However – if we don’t solve this problem – more work will go off-shore
  • Downside – will ultimately see the death of the IT sector; just like the manufacturing sector in NA – where most manufacturing is now done in China
  • You are already seeing a declining trend in Canada with students are not  going into IT
Thoughts on the creation of the new coalition
  • I think this is a great, when I read it in the paper yesterday I was very pleased.
  • I am looking into getting connected into this group to see where our company can assist.
  • It also highlighted to ARC that this problem is bigger than just the IT sector.  600,000 new jobs in the next 10 years scare me. 
  • This will be a huge challenge for this Province.
  • The Province and the Feds need to get focused on this.
What are you looking to see the government do?
  • We need to make it easier to get skilled resources into this country.
  • Right now it takes 3-4-5 months to get a resource into this country, this is too long.
  • The current process requires companies to do a labor market opinion which requires companies to prove that there is really a need and that we have done enough due diligence searching locally and prove it to the feds.  We need to do an LMO (Labor Market Opinion) for each role
  • Governments need to acknowledge there is a wide spread resourcing shortfall in these industries and allow companies to bring in qualified resources through a streamlined process
  • If we don’t, companies will have no choice but to go off shore to satisfy their needs.
  • Then the IT sector will see the same fate as the NA manufacturing sector.
  • Our company is fundamentally opposed to off-shoring as it runs counter to what this country, our company (and most other companies) are trying to accomplish – which is to grow and contribute to this nation.

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