Workforce

SKILLED. EDUCATED. DIVERSE.

These are just some of the reasons why Canada’s talent pool is sought-after. Whether your global company is looking for highly skilled workers, graduates from top universities or an international workforce, Canada gives you access to world-class talent across major industries.

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A key reason why Amazon continues to invest in Canada is because of the diverse and exceptionally talented workforce that exists here.1

Alexandre Gagnon, Vice President, Amazon Canada

Education in Canada

Canadians are educated. That’s a fact. Canada has the most educated workforce in the world, with 59% of Canadians aged 25–64 having graduated from post-secondary institutions2.

Canada makes research and education a priority. In 2014, Canada spent 6.0% of GDP on education3 and in 2017-2018, invested more than $14 billion in higher education’s research and development (R&D) activities4. Significant investments like these are what make Canada a leader in education among OECD countries.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education in Canada

More than ever, Canadians are recognizing the infinite possibilities in STEM. With STEM students making up more than 25% of all post-secondary enrolments5 and more than 70,000 new STEM students graduated in 2017, companies are choosing Canada for its high-quality workforce and putting down roots in cities that produce this talent.

No matter where you are in Canada, STEM graduates are readily available. By 2016, there were more than 1.3 million STEM graduates, aged 24 – 64, with a university certificate or above. In 2017, the Toronto and Montreal regions made up more than 25% of the graduates, securing quality STEM talent from universities like the University of Toronto and McGill University.


 Top STEM Graduate Producing Cities of Canada (2017)6

Top Cities Talent Chart
HTML Version
CMACA Name6 %
Toronto 14.52%
Montreal 13.54%
Vancouver 7.99%
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 6.98%
Ottawa-Gatineau 5.77%
Edmonton 4.56%
Hamilton 3.95%
Calgary 3.76%
London 3.56%
Guelph 2.97%
Québec 2.78%
Kingston 2.71%
Winnipeg 2.54%
Halifax 2.53%
Windsor 2.37%
Sherbrooke 2.19%
Saskatoon 1.75%
St. John's 1.59%
Victoria 1.58%
Oshawa 1.11%
Kelowna 0.92%
Thunder Bay 0.90%
Saguenay 0.78%
Regina 0.76%
Peterborough 0.69%
St. Catharines-Niagara 0.68%
Greater Sudbury 0.61%
Lethbridge 0.51%
Trois-Rivières 0.48%
Abbotsford-Mission 0.31%
Moncton 0.23%
Brantford 0.00%

Canadian Institutions

Canada is proud of its higher education and research institutions. From coast to coast, Canadian universities rank among the best in the world, with ten making the top 250.

University of British Columbia Campus

Life Sciences

Canada is home to the world’s 10 largest pharmaceutical companies. It is one of the largest markets in the world for medical devices7 and conducts 5% of the world’s clinical trials8. To add to that, 4.8 million Canadians hold a degree from a STEM or health care-related program. With that kind of access to quality life sciences professionals, it’s no wonder companies like Johnson & Johnson and Roche keep investing in Canada.

Learn more about Life Sciences in Canada

Technology

There’s a reason why more than 43,200 technology companies call Canada home1. Canada’s diverse and highly educated tech talent pool allows global companies to innovate in sectors like artificial intelligence, software development and cybersecurity. And with employment numbers growing to 1.69 million in 2020 within the digital economy companies are moving quickly to join Canada's fast-growing tech industry.

Learn more about Technology in Canada

Entertainment and Media

Digital media schools in Canada produce high quality talent. From Vancouver’s Centre for Digital Media to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, graduates are joining Canada’s workforce in visual effects and animation, video game development and film and television. And with Canada ranking 1st for the availability of digital talent among G7 countries9, there is no shortage of skilled talent here.

Learn more about Entertainment and Media in Canada

Workforce Competitiveness

Canada’s workforce ranks highly on the world stage. Compared to other countries in North America, Canada ranks #1 for workforce competitiveness10 because of favourable economic performance, government and business efficiency, and strong infrastructure.

Talent Attraction

Canada also attracts its workforce from around the world. From international students to entrepreneurs to skilled talent, Canada attracts the best and brightest because of its diversity and inclusivity, high quality of life, top-ranking universities and colleges, and innovative industries.

Need International Talent?

The Global Skills Strategy program helps global companies grow in Canada by providing access to a worldwide labour pool. The successful program has brought more than 30,000 skilled workers to Canada since 201711. With a 92% approval rate on work permit applications12, your company could have access to global talent in as little as two weeks.

Learn more about Canada’s Global Skills Strategy

How It Works

There are three pathways to get quick entry for skilled workers under the Global Skills Strategy:

  1. Short-duration work permit exemptions
  2. Two-week processing for high-skilled talent*
  3. Global Talent Stream

*Due to COVID-19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has indicated that there are delays in the processing of applications. IRCC is still processing GSS eligible work permits, but they may take longer than 2 weeks.

Canada is your next business destination.

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