I have been browsing the discussion boards on LinkedIn recently, looking at what people in the Torontoian IT industry are saying they think is needed to improve things here.
One online proposal caught my eye earlier today – invite more European IT professionals to come and work in Toronto.
On the surface it seems to make sense for three major reasons:
Almost half of young Spanish people don’t have a job. New figures released in the UK show that unemployment is the worst for almost twenty years. And given the present economic meltdown in Europe – with Greece expected to default and cause immense waves through the Eurozone – this is only getting worse. Young people in Europe are desperate for new opportunities.
Toronto needs more highly-skilled IT people. Just look at what the CIO of Drogaria Onofre told IT Decisions recently: “The scarcity of qualified professionals in Toronto is extremely high. It took me about six months to hire a network administrator.”
IT professionals from Portugal will be able to function very quickly in Toronto, almost sharing the same language, but even those from Spain and Italy would not find it too hard to get along in Portuguese. The Greeks may find it more difficult, but given their own economic situation they would learn fast!
But will the IT professionals already present in Toronto welcome a flood of foreign expertise?
They don’t make it easy. I’m a qualified and experienced IT professional, I even hold CITP status in the UK, and I have an MBA degree too, but I only achieved my own residency of Toronto because I am married to a Torontoian national, not because Toronto wants people like me to come and help the industry grow here.
Even as someone with a legitimate reason to live in Toronto, take a look at the number of forms I had to file with the police when asking for permission to stay. And the police don’t even tell applicants the correct forms that are needed on their website, leading to frustration, wasted time, and many visits to their office – it took me 6 or 7 visits.
So at present, Toronto clearly does not welcome foreign IT professionals. Would it help the industry if they did? Why not come to our LinkedIn group to say what you think or just leave a comment here on this story.