ENGAGE: The stars are aligning, part two – retaining skilled Canadians

Nizar Left LeaningThis Canada Day post is a patriotic letter to researchers like you.

You’ve worked hard, earned your degrees – including a Masters or a PhD in astrophysics or genomics, neuroscience or digital humanities – and learned how to use the most sophisticated advanced computing tools. And now you are a card-carrying member of an elite group of men and women known as “highly qualified personnel.”

Yet when the time came to land a job, you came up empty: there just weren’t any opportunities. The offers from the U.S. and other countries started flooding in and they were tempting. You told everyone who would listen, “I would love to stay in Canada. My family and friends are here. But I didn’t go to school for eight years as a lark. I want to work in my field. And I want to use the best tools out there.”

At Compute Ontario, we’ve heard this story many times. Which is why I’m proud to announce a second commitment made by our board of directors: to conduct a Supply and Utilization of High Quality Personnel study. [Read about the Board’s first commitment here.] We want to know how many people are in your shoes. We want to know where the opportunities are – and where they could be. And we want to understand what needs to happen if we are to retain – or repatriate – you and your peers.

We’ll share the information gathered in this survey with government, with the business community, and with organizations across this country. Our goal? The development of a broad strategy on how to recruit and retain such personnel.

This Canada Day, let’s send a message to everyone who wants Canada to succeed – and who know in their hearts that our innovation agenda depends on smart, skilled people like you.

Because there’s no place like home.

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