The Entertainment Software Association of Canada today released a report prepared by Dawson Strategic with recommendations on how the federal government can play a leadership role in creating digital competencies and skills for Canadians.
Skilled workers are necessary for the videogame industry’s ongoing needs, says ESAC, and critical to Canada’s future success in an increasingly digital economy.
“In the short term, immediate fixes to our immigration system are needed to ensure that cutting-edge companies developing innovative video games in Canada can compete with the world through easier access to the best experienced talent from abroad,” said Jayson Hilchie, President and CEO of ESAC. “In the longer term, Canada needs to be better at training its current and future workforce to meet the needs of the digital economy.”
ESAC suggests the creation of s comprehensive national digital skills strategy for Canada, which would include federal leadership in creating a multi-stakeholder task force comprised of industry leaders, policy makers and educators who will set clear objectives to put Canadian’s digital skills back on track with international competitors.
“Presenting an approach which is inclusive, diverse and that ultimately leads to more opportunities for all to participate in Canada’s digital economy is critical to the video game industry’s future success, but ultimately, essential for the future of the Canadian economy,” added Hilchie. “Strong leadership from the federal government will ensure that Canada does not get left behind as other countries move to make science, technology, engineering and math core educational competencies.”
The Canadian videogame industry employs 20,400 workers directly and contributes $3 billion to Canada’s GDP each year.