Canadian Banks Grapple with Tech Talent Shortage

Training in blockchain and Microsoft Azure to help with retention of tech staff

Canadian Banks Grapple with Tech Talent Shortage

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Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and others are grappling with a tech talent shortage, first by offering training in innovative technologies such as blockchain and Microsoft Azure, according to Bloomberg. The hope is two-fold: retain existing talent and attract more tech experienced workers into its fold.

“It’s probably the most competitive environment I’ve ever experienced in my 30 years in IT,” CIBC Chief Information Officer Richard Jardim said in an interview. “We used to compete against the banks and maybe some big tech — now it’s like we’re competing with everyone.”

To tackle the challenge, Toronto-based CIBC is focusing on providing current developers with new skills rather than looking externally for talent with the same capabilities. For example, the company has trained 2,000 workers — about two-thirds of its developers — on Microsoft Azure since CIBC struck a multiyear agreement in July to make the program its primary cloud platform.

Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer David McKay has said that to meeting the challenge of finding tech talent, ostensibly versus startups and smaller tech firms, is one of his top concerns.

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