In 2007, the Ottawa Software Cluster identified a lack of available talent as the greatest barrier to the growth of the tech sector in Ottawa.
On March 29, 2012, the Ottawa Business Journal reported that “there are currently more IT jobs than students. For every student there are about five co-op placements.” Further, a Statistics Canada jobs report stated the Ottawa region added more than 8,300 jobs in January 2012!
Ottawa’s IT sector is growing, as is the number of startups in Ottawa, and both need new talent to sustain growth.
“Ottawa is known to have the highest concentration of knowledge workers in the country, but the city has become much better known as Canada’s number one city to start and grow a knowledge-based business… Ottawa has created almost 2,000 companies known for globally competitive product innovations across an array of exciting sectors,” Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO Invest Ottawa, at the launch of the first annual Ottawa Entrepreneur Week, late in 2011.
Early education research indicates the best way to encourage students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is to bring people and companies creating cutting-edge technology into primary and secondary school classrooms. This is TechU.me’s mandate. TechU.me programs will help grow the skilled talent pool needed locally for Ottawa to continue to grow globally competitive companies.