Saskatchewan Technology Roundtable discussions inform curriculum and training

Industry leaders from across Saskatchewan met to discuss the growing technology sector and how to best train future employees

March 2, 2021 – Today Innovation Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Polytechnic, in collaboration with SaskTech, hosted the first annual Saskatchewan Technology Roundtable. Thought leaders from across the province shared insight on how Sask Polytech can strategically align itself further to meet technology industry training and hiring needs for the province.

Sask Polytech responds to industry needs and works hand-in-hand with professionals and industry experts through Program Advisory Committees. These committees are composed of approximately 700 experts, who let the institution know where labour markets are headed and what skills graduates need to help employers stay innovative. Along with the Program Advisory Committees, the Saskatchewan Technology Roundtable is another, proactive way for Sask Polytech to support the provincial mandate to triple the Saskatchewan technology sector by 2030.

“Today we met with industry leaders and discussed the technology jobs that industry currently requires, the jobs they will need in the future, and the core skills that are essential for these careers,” says Dr. Larry Rosia, Saskatchewan Polytechnic president and CEO. “This roundtable was extremely beneficial to inform Sask Polytech on the skillsets and training required to advance Saskatchewan’s growing tech sector. Now is the time to be proactive. Thank you to everyone who participated in our first annual Sask Tech Roundtable.”

The goal of the roundtable is to improve economic development outcomes in the Saskatchewan technology sector.

“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to tripling the tech sector in Saskatchewan by 2030,” says Kari Harvey, Innovation Saskatchewan CEO. “Discussing the industry needs for skills and training for the future is key to fulfilling that commitment and conversations like today’s are incredibly beneficial. We are looking forward to working with our partners to ensure that Saskatchewan companies have the talent they need to grow and scale in our province.”

Leaders from argiculture, energy, finance, manufacuting, mining and post-secondary sectors shared their valuable insights at the roundtable. These thoughtful conversations and discussions will support growing numbers of manufacturers and technology start-ups across the province. The Saskatchewan Technology Sector Labour Market and Economic Impact Initiative report commissioned by Sask Interactive in May 2020 found the tech sector contributes nearly $5 billion each year to the province’s economy. The goal in the Saskatchewan Growth Plan is to triple the sector by 2030.

“Saskatchewan’s technology sector is growing at an astounding rate, but the rate of digitization in mining, energy, and agriculture is increasing even more rapidly,” says Dr. Aaron Genest, Siemens representative and president of SaskTech. “With such rapid changes in the requirements of a large part of our workforce, activities such as the Saskatchewan Technology Roundtable are critical for ensuring that our training and education programs are preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, not those of yesterday.”

Saskatchewan’s technology sector is operating in a global market. Technology companies, the jobs they create and the skills needed to be successful in technology careers are evolving. These conversations are more important than ever.