Canada is banking on a ‘digital nomad’ strategy to win the race for tech talent

Canada is in a 'global race' for highly skilled tech workers, and that's why Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says the government is taking new measures to attract them.

Canada is banking on a ‘digital nomad’ strategy to win the race for tech talent

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on Tuesday said Canada is going after so-called “digital nomads” in STEM fields amid a “global race” for high-skilled workers — and at the same time, rolling out plans to help temporary foreign workers develop more skills while they work in Canada.

Speaking at the Collision Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, Fraser said Canada was preparing a roadmap to win what he called a “global race” to attract the best tech talent in the world.

“People and capital have been more mobile than they have ever been at any point in the world’s history,” he said.

“There’s no question that as borders opened up, that we are in a global race for the same pool of talent as our competitors around the entire world. I think Canada is winning that race, but we might be winning it by an even larger margin.”

Fraser said Ottawa would be launching a new and dedicated pathway for permanent residents that’s specifically available to employees and workers in the STEM sector, which covers science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Over the course of this year, Canada is going to be developing a specific stream for some of the world’s most highly talented people that will be able to come to Canada and work for tech companies, whether they have a job offer or not,” he said.

He also announced that Canada would be rolling out a “digital nomad strategy” for highly skilled workers in the tech sector.

“(The digital nomad strategy) is going to allow people who have a foreign employer to come and work in Canada for up to six months, live in communities in this country and spend money in communities in this country, and should they receive a job offer while they’re here, we’re going to allow them to continue to stay and work in Canada,” he said.