7 October 2016
Sherbrooke Innopole’s Campaign to Support ICT Businesses Facing Workforce Recruitment Challenges
PRESS RELEASE – Sherbrooke Innopole is launching a series of initiatives to support Information and communications technologies (ICT) businesses facing labour shortages.
While Sherbrooke’s ICT ecosystem is booming, the growth of many businesses is hindered by difficulties filling certain key positions, such as programmer analysts, software developers, database administrators, project managers, and technical support staff. This has prompted Sherbrooke Innopole, at the urging of Marc-Henri Faure, counsellor for the ICT sector, to implement several concrete projects, in collaboration with various partners.
“As an economic development organization, we cannot stand idly by in the face of such a significant problem,” he explained. “As this shortage is a province-wide problem, we must be creative to be competitive. This campaign addresses the issue from two perspectives, which can be summarized as retaining 20-year-olds and attracting 30-year-olds!”
Sherbrooke Innopole has joined forces with Pro-Gestion Estrie—regional coordinator of the Programme de régionalisation de l’immigration (immigration regionalization program)—to organize the Rendez-vous Emplois Express (speed interviewing event), which featured a dozen IT businesses in Sherbrooke and Magog. This activity enabled some 40 IT professionals who live in Montréal and who have completed the immigration process to discover the Estrie region and meet potential employers. In addition to several promising discussions, a position was filled that very day.
Sherbrooke Innopole is also participating, along with Magog Technopole, in the Technology and Engineer Career Fair currently taking place in Montréal. Both organizations are there to recruit candidates by promoting the region’s appeal and the 50 positions available. “We are fortunate to live in a beautiful region while having access to all urban amenities,” said Marc-Henri Faure. “The quality of life in the Estrie region is a compelling argument, especially for young families, and this is what we focus on in our interactions with professionals from Montréal.”
While these initiatives aim to attract skilled labour to Sherbrooke, others focus on retaining young graduates, who often leave the region at the end of their studies. “We are organizing business presentations for IT students at the Université de Sherbrooke. They will take place during lunch hour in a relaxed setting, which appeals to students, and will help promote Sherbrooke’s expertise and job opportunities.”
The concept will be taken a step further in late October when Sherbrooke Innopole will hold a new kind of mid-term party—computer science students at the Université de Sherbrooke, Bishop’s University, and the Cégep de Sherbrooke will be invited to a festive 5@7 happy hour where they will meet representatives of Sherbrooke ICT companies. This will enable the representatives to promote potential careers within their companies to students in an informal setting. The originality of this initiative thrilled the three educational institutions that accepted to promote it to their students.
“There is no quick fix for the labour shortage in the IT sector,” stated Marc-Henri Faure. “But I am convinced that through multiple concrete actions, bringing together the stakeholders and acting on several fronts, we can make a difference.”
Source: Sherbrooke Innopole
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