The Government of Saskatchewan has launched a new stream of its immigration program meant to attract technology professionals to the province.
As part of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP), the Tech Talent Pathway was created to support Saskatchewan’s growing tech sector and to ease labour shortages. The SINP program is a way for people to immigrate to Saskatchewan by submitting residency applications.
“We want our immigrants to stay right here in our province to join us in creating innovative solutions for Saskatchewan to export to the world.”
– Aaron Genest
With the Tech Talent Pathway, the provincial government will facilitate and expedite the permanent immigration of tech workers already working in Saskatchewan. The government noted it will also support tech workers who have been recruited outside of Canada.
The federal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada sets the amount of nominations the SINP can provide each year as it does for all provincial nomination programs.
Candidates are able to apply to the Tech Talent Pathway if they have a job offer in occupations such as software engineer, computer programmer, web developer, computer and information systems manager, database analysts.
“The economy of Saskatchewan relies on our ability to attract and retain highly skilled immigrants who form critical anchors of specialized skills in our communities and workforce,” said SaskTech president Aaron Genest. “The Tech Talent Pathway … streamlines the immigration process and acknowledges that we want our immigrants to stay right here in our province to join us in creating innovative solutions for Saskatchewan to export to the world.”
A 2020 study by Innovation Saskatchewan found there are around 52,300 people working in tech provincially, and there are more than 5,000 technology companies. Saskatchewan’s tech sector generates over $10 billion in revenue each year and represents 5.6 percent of the province’s total gross domestic product, the organization noted.
As Saskatchewan’s tech sector continues to grow, so does the demand for tech-related skills. A spokesperson for the Government of Saskatchewan told BetaKit that, in the last five year, the province experienced demand increases ranging from 112.9 percent to 352.3 percent. Last year, there were reportedly 2,117 Saskatchewan tech job postings on SaskJobs.ca and the National Job Bank.
Saskatchewan is the latest Canadian province to introduce a tech-focused employment program for immigrants. Earlier this year, the Alberta government launched the Accelerated Tech Pathway under the federal-provincial Alberta Immigration Nominee Program.
Ontario reportedly issued over 1,400 notifications of interest in 2021 through its tech-focused Immigrant Nominee Program.
Québec also launched its permanent immigration pilot program last year, targeting workers in the AI, information technologies, and visual effects sectors. British Columbia extended its BC PNP Tech Pilot program last May to build on the over 6,000 workers it has nominated for permanent residence since it launched in 2017.