Saskatchewan tech sector adds over 200 jobs in nine months, plans to double growth in 2019
Provincial tech firms averaged 100% year-over-year growth, but note a potential shortage of local talent needed to continue expansion
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan –– SaskTech, an advocacy group representing over 50 technology companies across Saskatchewan, announced today that over 220 jobs were created by its members during the first nine months of 2018. These hires exceeded the original 200 open positions that were noted by SaskTech in October of 2017.
Fueled by a number of recent success stories and a surge in capital investment, the growth rate of Saskatchewan-based tech companies has averaged 100% in the past year. Looking forward into 2019, members of SaskTech have indicated that open positions are set to double, but only if qualified candidates can be found to fill the vacancies.
“SaskTech has been working closely with government and post-secondary institutions to grow the number of qualified professionals in Saskatchewan, but we continue to struggle to fill open positions,” said Aaron Genest, President of SaskTech. “Our members understand the opportunity in Saskatchewan to build a world-class tech industry, but require the support of all levels of government to ensure that we can continue to add high-paid, stable employment to our provincial workforce.”
A number of achievements have occurred over the past year for the local technology sector which have contributed to the hiring boom, including the recent $13.4 million Series A investment in 7shifts, a Saskatoon-based scheduling platform for restaurants; the acquisition of Saskatoon-based Solido by Siemens; a $4.2 million investment in Saskatoon-based Coconut Software; and the acquisition of Regina-based AgTech firm IntraGrain in November.
“We are so proud of what the men and women in Saskatchewan’s tech industry have accomplished over the past year,” Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said. “The growth and job creation of local tech companies has been impressive and we look forward to supporting the continued rapid growth of the industry. Our government is keen to continue working with SaskTech and the province’s post-secondary institutions to make sure we’re producing the world-class talent that local companies need, as this sector is going to be a big source of employment for the province in the future.”
SaskTech estimates that the industry will need to add 400 jobs by the end of 2019 in order to help its members achieve their hiring goals.
“As we continue to scale our business globally we increasingly need to think locally about the talent we are fostering and investing in,” said Jordan Boesch, founder and CEO of 7shifts. “Only once we create a provincial ecosystem where opportunities, ideas, and people flourish will we be able to boast of Saskatchewan as one of the premier incubators of technology in Canada to draw talent from all corners of the globe.”
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