Immigration Q&A argues uncertain political times makes education the most valuable asset to secure talent

Go North Canada

Last week, in partnership with PwC, BetaKit hosted a Facebook Live chat on one of the hottest conversations in Canadian tech: talent. Both in Canada’s need for more, and the current opportunities around attracting it.

“There is a talent gap,” Ben Baldwin, founder of ScaleDriver and The Founder City Project, says in the video below. “There’s a lot of growth in the ecosystem, which is awesome. It creates a strain on how many people are available. But it also creates a draw.”

“I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re in a climate that no one’s ever seen before.”

The tension between opportunity and need can be seen clearly in recent news. Canada needs to fill the 218,000 new ICT positions that will reportedly be open by 2020. A newly revised travel ban and changes to the H-1B visa in the United States could make Canada the more attractive North American innovation hub.

“I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re in a climate that no one’s ever seen before,” agrees Melodie Hughes, Partner, Canadian Immigration at PwC Law.

But while there’s urgency for answers, Baldwin admitted that most founders and CEO don’t really know how to get them, given the complexity and constant change. “What I found was that it was tough to get people asking questions because it’s pretty intimidating,” he says.

“It’s the uncertainty that’s invoked a lot of fear with companies,” Hughes agrees, before drawing a sharp contrast between current options for US and Canadian CEOS. “It’s the certainty of our political climate and the options available in Canada that is really driving this Go North movement.”

Over the course of the video below, Hughes lays out the options available to Canadian entrepreneurs to bring talent north, including the newly announced Global Skills Strategy, while answering questions of potential pitfalls posed by Baldwin and Live chat participants.

“Rule number one: do not just send somebody on a plane or across the border. Education is probably your most valuable asset. The worst thing is having a new executive or critical designer stuck at the border, and being turned back or potentially banned.”

Watch the video below and get educated! Those looking to reach out to Melodie Hughes for specific legal questions can do so here.

The information and conclusions provided in the above-referenced Livechat have been provided for general information purposes only, taking into account the laws, practices and considerations in effect at the time of the event. PwC Law LLP makes no representations as to their applicability to any participant or viewer to the Livechat and confirms that no information should be relied upon as legal advice without independent consultation.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.