Calling all computer geeks and techies — Canada’s technology sector needs you!

It began by posting “help wanted” signs, turned to a nationwide search, and now some companies are making a desperate effort to find computer technicians to fill a widening employment gap.

The Canadian economy may be slowing and the jobless rate creeping higher — as the industrial sector in Ontario and Quebec comes under renewed pressure from a looming U.S. recession and high dollar. But there are still major skills shortages and lots of jobs available in technology, services and skilled trades.


At Workopolis, the country’s largest online job search operator, postings for qualified computer software programmers and hardware technicians have soared more than 300 per cent over the last year, and applicants are hard to come by.

“The majority of people that we’ve interviewed over the last little while are new Canadians, rather than people who were born in Canada,” said Patrick Sullivan, president of Workopolis.

He said part of the problem lies in the fact that few Canadians are trained in computer and network programming.

A recent report by the Conference Board of Canada suggested the country will need 90,000 information technology workers within the next five years, in part to fuel the explosion in wireless and Internet businesses. Each position that isn’t filled will cost the economy an estimated $120,000 per year.

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