Sector Spotlight: Information & Communication Technology
According to the Canadian Information and Communication Technology Council, Information & Communication Technology Sector (ICT) includes goods and services that process, transmit or receive information. These are technologies related to software, hardware, computer services, telecommunications, microelectronics etc. ICT is prevalent in e-commerce, e-learning, e-health, wireless multimedia and digital entertainment, in addition to emerging technologies such artificial intelligence. ICT sector in Canada includes services, manufacturing, wholesale, rental and leasing.
ICT has the potential to be a growth sector for Durham Region. Durham Region has multi-fold advantages in positioning itself to be a technological hub close to Toronto, even more as the economy transitions into a knowledge based one. Durham Region is home to some of the fastest rising businesses and start-ups in the GTA.
In Durham Region ICT strategies at the municipal level are more evolved compared to the existing regional ICT strategy. For example, Town of Whitby has formulated a broadband strategy and the City of Oshawa was a participant in the federally implemented Smart Cities Challenge.
Durham Sector Overview:
- Wireless telecommunications carriers comprise of nearly half of the employment in the ICT industry in Durham Region.
- The second largest sub-industry by employment are the Wired telecommunication carriers contributing to one-fifth of the employment.
- Wireless telecommunication carriers such as Bell and Rogers also provide wired telecommunications services such as broadband connections etc
- Information systems analysts and consultants ranks at the top among the ICT occupations in Durham Region, with 725 employees.
- More than 50 percent of employees in each of the subsectors either have a college diploma or a bachelor’s degree, indicating the need for specialized knowledge to carry out the functions needed in these industries.
- The primary working-age group is ages 25-44 years. This is highest in telecommunications where nearly 60 percent of employees are in this age group. Employees who are 24 or under generally form less than 10 percent of the employee composition in each of the sub-sectors.
Employment in Durham Region in 2016 grew to 5,240 from 5,225 in 2011. Durham Region is ideally placed to connect and take advantage of the ICT Hub of Toronto. The availability of educational opportunities in the sector within the Region implies that further growth potential in forthcoming, especially if it is accompanied by appropriate ICT investment and infrastructure throughout Durham Region.
The DWA is one of a network of 26 Workforce Planning Board areas across the province.
Workforce Planning Boards gather intelligence about the supply of labour and the demand side of the local labour market by working with employers to identify and meet their current and emerging skills needs. The primary role of Workforce Planning Boards is to help improve understanding of and coordinate community responses to labour market issues and needs.