I had a chat today with someone (who shall remain anonymous as they are a frequent reader of this blog) who had lunch with a bunch of folks from a Latin American country that are in New Brunswick training to do some technical IT jobs that are currently being done here but are being transferred to said Latin American country (can’t tell you which one). But the part I found interesting is that several of these Latin Americans up here to train for jobs back in their home country, are already applying to get into Canada to work here.
The reality here is quite simple. The company moves these jobs offshore where their costs will be 1/3 of what they would be in New Brunswick. The problem is that the persons doing the jobs are being trained in a way that will make them attractive to employers in New Brunswick and elsewhere in Canada.
I believe that New Brunswick could come out a winner in this whole offshore to nearshore reality particularly in the IT business. We just need to be able to attract skilled migrants/immigrants and be very deliberate about making our case to the big IT outsourcers (increasingly many of these companies are now located in eastern Europe).
Because at the end of the day, a 20% -25% lower cost of living, marginal commute times and other benefits should make New Brunswick attractive in the talent war. I know that Richard Florida thinks than any urban area less than 5 million people is doomed but I disagree. He blathers on about the Boston-New York-Washington creative behemoth but Greater Halifax has grown faster in the past 10 years (at least by population). Sure, it’s a scale issue but I believe there are many examples where smaller urban areas can find and exploit niches and one involves immigrants. Not every immigrant wants to leave an urban jungle to go to live in another urban jungle. Some do. Some don’t. We need to carve off the ones that don’t.
Rambling tonight but it’s late.