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CivicAction and LinkedIn Identify Growing Technology Opportunities in the Toronto Region

TORONTO (October 28, 2015) – Today CivicAction and LinkedIn, in partnership with the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario, released never before seen research with real-time data on the Toronto region’s tech sector. The announcement, which marked the end of the City of Toronto’s Workforce Development Month, has already sparked action with NPower Canada committed to updating its curriculum and Seneca College committed to offering short-term training in response to the findings. With John Tory, Mayor of Toronto on hand for the data reveal, the research has galvanized civil society to work together to maintain our region’s competitive edge.

“With the world shifting so quickly, we need to take the Toronto region to the frontline with new sources of information that sit between traditional labour market statistics and what’s happening on the ground,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction.

“This project is an example of what CivicAction does best, bring together all sectors to a neutral sandbox where they act and work together towards a common goal and shared impact,” said Rod Phillips, Chair, CivicAction.

LinkedIn – a global company with over 380 million members – chose the Toronto region as the focus for this new leading-edge research. With projections from the Information and Communications Technology Council estimating that over 50,000 tech jobs will need to be hired for by 2019 and with 16% of LinkedIn profiles in the region reporting they have technology skills, the research focused on understanding our region’s tech sector, what tech skills we have, and what we should develop.

“LinkedIn has a vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, and we have the ability to do that by using the information on our platform to learn more about the tech skills our members have and where they are needed. More than half of the Greater Toronto Area’s labour force is on LinkedIn- that’s a huge pool of real-time data that we are leveraging to help residents make the most of opportunities in our region,” said Brian Church, Country Manager, LinkedIn Canada.

Key research findings:

  1. The Toronto region is doing well when it comes to tech skills, but we could do better
  • Of the 1.9 million members in the GTA, 11% or 214,000 are sharing that they have tech skills. Toronto’s proportion of tech skilled members compares favorably to similar cities around the world (#5 after the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Seattle, Sydney, and Stockholm).
  1. Tech skills are important for more than the “technology sector”
  • The majority of tech-skilled people are in companies that aren’t in the technology sector (only 31% of tech skilled people are in companies in the technology sector).
  • Tech skills are especially prominent among those who were recently hired in early-career roles: 1 in 4 who started a new early-career role in the last year had tech skills, and almost three-quarters (73%) of these individuals found work outside the technology sector.
  1. The Toronto region is a great place to start a career for tech talent
  • Compared to other cities around the world, the Toronto region has relatively high hiring rates in early career roles for individuals who have top tech skills. There are many opportunities for those starting their careers. Almost 11,000 companies currently have employees with tech skills in early-career roles.
  1. Top 11 tech skills most likely to be found among recently hired, early-career tech talent
    1. Mobile Development
    2. Game Development
    3. Perl/Python/Ruby
    4. User Interface Design
    5. Computer Graphics & Animation
    6. Algorithm Design
    7. C/C++
    8. Web programming
    9. Java Development
    10. Microsoft Application Development
    11. Database management & Software

“To keep our economy growing and the Toronto region competitive, we need to make smart investments in education and training. It’s important for us to give our young people the skills that are in demand by employers and help them connect with employment opportunities. Over the last year we’ve tripled the number of job opportunities for young people through the City of Toronto Partnership to Advance Youth Employment. With research like this and employers making a commitment to hire young people, we are taking the right steps to tackle youth unemployment in the city,” said Mayor Tory.

“Accurate and up to date labour market information is crucial to ensure businesses, government, post-secondary institutions, labour, front-line training organizations and students can make better, more evidence-based decisions. Ontario is proud to support this innovative initiative, which is exploring new approaches to developing and using such valuable information here in the GTA,” said the Hon. Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister Research and Innovation and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.


Additional quotes:

Seneca College is committed to giving our students relevant, timely education. This data from LinkedIn and CivicAction gives us new information on how skills are changing in our region so that we can quickly adapt and deliver new programs that are needed now.

– David Agnew, President, Seneca College 

These new insights from LinkedIn and CivicAction on tech skills in the Toronto region are helping us to identify in-demand skills in today’s tech talent market which informs our curriculum development. Using LinkedIn’s technology to reveal trends in the IT sector is an exciting new way to inform our ability to bridge supply and demand.

– Julia Blackburn, Executive Director, NPower Canada 

Behind technology and innovation is talent and Cisco knows the value of finding the right talent with the right skills. This research from LinkedIn and CivicAction and the partners that are working with them will strengthen our region’s tech skills now and for the future.

– Bernadette Wightman, President, Cisco Canada

As a national centre of expertise for the digital economy and as a leader in labour market intelligence, we recognize the importance of granular understanding of the labour market in the new economy for Canada to maintain its competitive edge. This innovative research by LinkedIn, CivicAction and other partners on tech skills has brought a new source of information on the Greater Toronto Area’s digital economy, which will help build a talented and diverse digital workforce.

– Namir Anani, President & CEO, Information and Communications Technology Council

Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

About CivicAction

For over a decade, CivicAction has played the role of neutral sandbox, bringing together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle challenges facing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. CivicAction builds partnerships and takes action through campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @CivicActionGTHA. This Employment Ontario project is funded by the Ontario government. The views expressed in this material are the views of CivicAction and LinkedIn and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ontario government.

About LinkedIn

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the ways companies hire, market and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than 380 million members and has offices around the world.

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Harris
Director of Communications, CivicAction
Michael Thomson
Edelman (on behalf of LinkedIn)