On the heels of the public release of the McKinsey Report and Budget 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI) says it is evident that technology will be critical to the diversification of the provincial economy as a standalone sector generating almost $1.6 billion to the provincial economy each year, while also enabling expanded opportunities, greater competitiveness and the potential for increased revenues across all industries.
Through Budget 2019 and the upcoming election period, NATI urges the Liberal government and all parties to make the technology sector a priority, committing to:
- Promoting technology as a key sector in the province
- Integrating technology into the provincial brand narrative, increasing awareness building activities and positioning of the sector
- Increasing digital literacy and workforce development for jobs in technology
- Creating the pipeline of talent to fuel the growth of new companies including increased hands-on technology, problem solving, entrepreneurship and co-operative learning in K-12
- Increasing post-secondary training and skills development that is flexible and responsive to the needs of the growing technology sector
- Expanding opportunities for youth, women and indigenous peoples, and other under-represented groups
- Supporting the growth and sustainability of technology companies
- Providing a continuum of support for high potential technology companies through scale-up, growth and beyond to improve greater long-term sustainability and economic benefits
“If you look at those economies in the world that are performing best, it is those who have focused on technology to achieve greater diversity, new revenue, and well-paying jobs that both retain and attract the people they need to sustain a strong tax base,” said Paul Preston, CEO of NATI. “Technology is an important sector that helps drive the economic engine of Newfoundland and Labrador with nearly 600 businesses employing more than 8,700 people – and we’ve only scratched the surface.”
Preston said while there is an important focus on ocean technology in the province, there is an entire technology sector that is also garnering global attention and poised for significant growth in information and communications technology, medtech, cyber security and fintech, digital media and game development, and more that represent tremendous potential for diversification, investment, growth and jobs for both urban and rural parts of the province.