Skills shortages and labour migration in the field of information and communication technology in Canada, China, Germany and Singapore

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industries have seen impressive growth over the past few years. As ICT becomes integral to other sectors, transforming the way they work, the ICT sector itself is experiencing rapid change. Digitalization is reshaping economies across the world, including those of Canada, China, Germany and Singapore, and it is a significant driver of increasing demand for ICT specialists – both in the ICT sector and across many other sectors of the economy. However, a shortage of skilled ICT workers is becoming a major concern for governments, and employers’ and workers’ organizations in many countries. A lack of skilled labour will constrain future growth and job creation in the sector, but with the right policies in place, the digital economy could make a significant contribution to advancing decent work and inclusive economic growth at the global, regional and national levels.

This report is the second in a series of three reports published under the ILO development cooperation project entitled “The Future of Work in Information and Communication Technology”. The global research project focuses on anticipated needs for skilled workers and strategies for addressing labour shortages, including the scaling up of investments in ICT education and training, and more efficient management of ICT specialist migration flows. The report specifically examines (a) trends in the ICT sector and ICT labour markets; (b) the potential demand for ICT jobs and anticipated shortages of skilled workers in the digital economy, as well as approaches for improving the education and training of ICT workers; and (c) factors affecting the labour migration of highly-skilled ICT workers in the four target countries.