Federal GATS, the I.S.P., a Predicated Skills Shortage

I saw this news items affecting the profession and I wanted to share it with you. It’s a significant recognition of where the industry and profession is heading:

GATS: Under the General Agreement on Trade and Services, the Canadian Federal government has made an offer to allow entry for foreign trained workers who hold the Information Systems Professional [I.S.P.] designation.

There’s a skills shortage predicted and this is a method of addressing it. However, it also provides recognition of the value of the I.S.P.

Thank you,
Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.

Comments (2)

  1. Marcus Swan says:

    I fail to see how making it even easier to bring foreign labour – green foreign labour at that – qualifies as good news.

    If the ISP was the only way in, as per the MD and a physician who wants to practice medicine in Canada, this might be good news.

    But the real news here is that it is now even easier to bring more foreign labour into Canada.

    Is there a shortage of recent graduates? The shortage described in the article referenced above refers to highly skilled or cross-functional skilled works. The proposed changes to GATS doesn’t do much to solve this shortage.

    The shortage that is addressed is the ‘cheap labour’ shortage. Why LOWER the education and experience otherwise? Because what’s really driving this is the desire to have onshore projects at offshore wages.

    It’s great that someone in the Feds knows about the ISP, but when placed in the context of the offer I see little reason to celebrate.

  2. Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS,I.S.P., sibaraki@cips.ca says:


    In my interview with celebrated computer scientist Maria Klawe, she noted that research studies indicate a serious undergraduate enrollment problem which creates a shortfall in meeting future ICT needs:


    I come from an education background and found the same thing: student enrollment is down; IT programs are being cut; book publishers are recording a serious IT downturn.

    Adding to this trend is the retirement of large number of experienced ICT professionals and managers.

    Related to the need for growing numbers of ICT workers is the big concern for Canadian business in closing the productivity gap. ICT is a major driver for this [increasing productivity]:


    However, the ICT skills shortage is so pronounced that by 2010, there will be insufficient ICT local talent to satisfy growth needs. I just finished participating in two focus group sessions and an online survey with two major industry groups that spoke to this serious issue. There are insufficient numbers of ICT workers to meet future demand. It is documented and needs to be addressed. Having a universal or global system for recognition of ICT professionals provides a means for Canadians to work abroad and for their credentials to be recognized. On the reverse side, it also allows foreign credentials to be assessed if they map to the Canadian I.S.P. or its equivalent.

    I’m an I.S.P. holder and find that the current CIPS professionalism program [Body of Knowledge, Code of Ethics, Legislated Practitioner Certification, Demonstrated Professional Practice, Ongoing Professional Development, emerging Standards of Practice, accelerated paths to certification through Accreditation of Colleges/Universities] creates a professional designation that goes beyond any program/process to-date for the credentialing of ICT professionals. So I consider it elevating the profession.

    Best regards,

    Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P.

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