Ict Update Report   October 28, 2011
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  • 1. STAFF REPORT ACTION REQUIREDInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)Initiatives Update ReportDate: October 27, 2011To: Economic Development CommitteeFrom: General Manager, Economic Development and CultureWards: AllReferenceNumber:SUMMARYThe purpose of this report is to provide an update on the current and upcoming activitiesthat staff have been implementing to ensure the Information and CommunicationsTechnology (ICT) sector is moving forward and expanding in Toronto. There are anumber of activities the City has been working on since a presentation was made to theEconomic Development Committee on March 31, 2011.RECOMMENDATIONSThe General Manager, Economic Development and Culture recommends that theEconomic Development Committee:1. Request the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture, to report back in mid-2012 on the state of the ICT industry and the success of initiatives to promote and strengthen the ICT sector including labour force trends.Financial ImpactThere are no financial impacts resulting from the adoption of this report.Information and Communications Technology Update
  • 2. DECISION HISTORYAt its meeting on March 31, 2011, the Economic Development Committee requested theGeneral Manager, Economic Development and Culture to report back on how the Citycan facilitate the promotion of ICT careers in the secondary schools throughorganizations such as the ICTC, its FIT program and other activities.The Committee also requested an update on recent initiatives in the ICT Sector.ISSUE BACKGROUNDIn November 2010, the City published a report, Canadas High Tech Hub: Toronto,http://www.toronto.ca/business_publications/pdf/ICT-Report_March2011.pdffor Technicity, an annual conference that brings together the ICT industry. That reportfocused on three areas - Talent, Research and Development (R&D), and Investment inthe ICT sector. It was prepared by Economic Development & Culture based oninformation from Statistics Canada, IDC Canada, MaRS Discovery District, the TorontoRegion Research Alliance (TRRA), the Impact Group, KPMG and the Government ofOntario.Canadas High Tech Hub: Toronto indicated that the sector employs over 161,000workers (56.4% of all ICT workers in Ontario and 30% of all ICT workers in Canada).This is an increase of 30,000 jobs since the last analysis was completed in 2004.The ICT sector workforce is young and enjoys high employment (over 60% of itsworkforce under the age of 45 and boasts a 95.9% employment rate or 4.1%unemployment rate). Their average wage is $64,725 (6.6% above the Toronto average).They are also well educated (96.8% have a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree,compared with 88.9% for the citys total labour force). Currently, the Toronto ICTindustry is growing and firms are actively recruiting new staff.The sector has 11,522 companies that generated $52.2 billion in revenues with $21.8billion in the manufacturing subsector and $30.4 billion in the services sector. The sectoris dominated by small to medium sized firms with fewer than 100 employees (97.7%).The numbers of service sector firms have grown 20% from 8,776 to 10,917 from 2002 to2009.Although Toronto is the dominant force in the ICT industry in Canada, the reportrevealed that there is a decline of post secondary graduates in ICT related disciplines.The decline in ICT graduates has also been cited in ongoing research by the Informationand Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and was discussed in greater detail in areport, Outlook for Human Resources in the ICT Labour Market, 2011-2016. Over thenext five years, Canadian employers will need to hire an estimated 106,000 ICT workers.It is estimated that Toronto would require approximately 35,000 personnel. IndustryInformation and Communications Technology Update
  • 3. demands for ICT personnel are ever increasing but the supply of qualified candidates hasnot kept up with these demands.Senior executives from the ICT sector who attended the Technicity conference discussedvarious challenges and opportunities facing the sector, including the demand for moreICT workers.COMMENTSThe ICT industry is a key strategic sector in Toronto. It is large (with over 160,000workers and 11,500 firms), growing, innovative, young and generates well paid jobs. Inaddition to being a major industry in and of itself, the ICT sector is also a critical enablersupporting virtually all other sectors, from manufacturing to financial services to film andtelevision.With the City of Torontos overall unemployment rate at 8.7% (and the Toronto region at7.3%) and with a youth (15 to 24 years) unemployment rate now at 20.25%, proactivelynurturing the health and vitality of the ICT sector is essential for economic success.Economic Development & Culture Division – Sector Development staff are engaged in anumber of initiatives that help bolster the ICT industy through peer developmentopportunities, mentoring, start-up programs and expansion and business to businessnetworking activities.The ICT industry thrives on creativity and innovation; attributes found throughoutTorontos diverse labour force and youth. Staff are engaged in a number of initiatives toencourage young people to pursue ICT careers as a means of improving their own and thecitys prosperity. To address the need for ICT talent, staff are working with the ICTC topromote ICT training and entrepreneurship to secondary school students.Through Technicity, a forum for senior level ICT industry executives, and other relatedindustry conferences, City staff and ICTC have developed a CEO ICT outreach program.This program recruits senior executives and entrepreneurs as volunteers from varioussized ICT firms to discuss career opportunities with secondary school students. Theselection of a suitable career focus starts in secondary school, and thus, the outreach byICT professionals to this demographic is critical in the promotion of ICT careers.In addition to the CEO ICT outreach program staff are working with the ICTC on severalinitiatives to help students jump start careers in the sector. The Focus on InformationTechnology (FIT) program provides high school students with the opportunity to work inhands-on situations at post-secondary institutions, tours of local businesses, guestspeakers and duel credit courses to help them gain entry into the ICT sector. Uponcompletion, the program rewards students with an industry approved certificate. Thesecondary schools currently taking part in the FIT program are:Georges Vanier Collegiate Institute, (Don Mills and Finch)Information and Communications Technology Update
  • 4. William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute, (Sheppard and Wilson Heights)George Harvey Collegiate Institute, (Keele and Eglinton)Northview Secondary School, (Bathurst and FinchSATEC @ Porter Collegiate Institute, (Warden, north of St. Clair)LAmoreaux Collegiate Institute, (Warden, north of Finch)David and Mary Thompson Collegiate Institute, (Brimley and Lawrence)Yorkdale Secondary and Adult Learning Centre, (Dufferin and 401)St. Basil the Great, (Albion and Weston)EDC staff are also exploring how the CEO ICT outreach program and the FIT programcan be customized to engage youth and their participation in the ProTech Media Centres.The Centres provide skills development and workforce training opportunities for youth inpriority neighbourhoods.ICTC, in conjunction with the School of Information and Communications Technology atSeneca College, hosts learning days at its Newnham campus. Over 200 secondary schoolstudents explore and experiment with computers through activities designed to stimulatetheir interest in a technology-related field. These events consist of numerous hands-onworkshops in areas such as electronic circuits, communications and control systems,computer programming and networking, and computer hardware and softwareconfigurations. Interactive lecture and laboratory sessions in structured programmingtechniques are also provided.Economic Development & Culture Division staff are working to engage secondaryschool students and teachers through tours of ICT incubators in the city, includingRyerson Universitys Digital Media Zone (DMZ) and George Brown Colleges gamingincubator. At these incubators, EDC staff are providing business advisory services andfacilitating business expansion.Staff are also engaged in the following activities which help to promote ICT careers: ICT is one of the sector workshops at the Internationally Educated Professionals (IEP) Conference that the City co-organizes every year (the next one is on February 10, 2012 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre), which seeks to provide information to IEPs to advance their careers in Toronto (see www.iep.ca). Through the Youth Employment Partnerships (YEP) program staff in Social Development, Finance & Administration (SDFA) engage youth in discussions about ICT careers (see http://www.toronto.ca/yep/). Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) and EDC staff work to match Toronto residents with jobs. EDC staff are engaged in the CFO Technology Forum, a networking group of C- suite executives at ICT companies who share and exchange learning and mentoring business experiences at quarterly meetings.Information and Communications Technology Update
  • 5. Technicity 2011 will be held on November 22 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This forum provides senior representatives from the ICT sector with opportunities to mobilize and strengthen the sector. City staff are collaborating with the Toronto chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) to build greater synergy within the cluster and to raise greater awareness of career opportunities in the digital gaming/interactive sub-sector and attract and retain talent. The Toronto Board of Trade has established a Technology Forum to promote and highlight the strengths, growth, employment opportunities, and importance of the ICT cluster to the citys economy. Staff are participating on the Boards Advisory Committee. EDC is also partnering with the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre of OCAD University on a mobile research study. The study will report on the developments in the mobile application sector and highlight the educational and skills requirements for current and emerging careers in the mobile application market. Microsofts Worldwide Partner Conference, awarded to Toronto earlier this year, will take place from July 8 to 12, 2012. This major international conference will feature exhibits, workshops and product launches. EDC staff are working with conference organizers to develop programming to highlight the career opportunities and increasing employment prospects within the ICT sector. Over 15,000 delegates from 191 countries are expected to attend. The conference will raise Torontos profile as an ICT hub and create a positive "buzz" about Torontos ICT sector.CONCLUSIONThe ICT industry thrives on creativity and innovation and requires collaboration andpartnerships to succeed. Many of the initiatives listed above that staff are leading orparticipating in are focussed on strengthening existing relationships and helping to buildnew ones. Diversity is Torontos strength, however, it does take a directed and concertedeffort to take best advantage of the benefits diversity offers. Forums such as Technicityhave been widely applauded by industry for bringing together senior decision makersfrom many different sub-sectors of the ICT cluster and creating opportunities forpartnership development.Similarly, facilitating the partnerships between industry leaders and colleges, universitiesand high schools to ensure high quality and relevant training programs and to encourageyouth to consider careers in this high growth industry have also been successful. Theseinitiatives and others to develop the ICT sector have contributed to the growth of theindustry, job creation, and attracting global recognition for Toronto as a centre ofInformation and Communications Technology Update
  • 6. creativity and innovation. Recent announcements by Google, Zynga, Microsoft,Gameloft, and others demonstrate private sector confidence in the vitality of the ICTsector in Toronto. A strong and growing ICT sector, in turn, contributes to the strengthof other key industry sectors within Toronto.CONTACTJoe Mazzei, Senior Advisor, ICT, 416 392-3482, fax: 416 392-3374, jmazzei@toronto.caSIGNATURE_______________________________Michael H. Williams General Manager, Economic Development and CultureInformation and Communications Technology Update