Smart technologies are on the verge of reshaping all sorts of industries worldwide, and Canada needs to create a more digitally-savvy workforce if it wants to keep up with the changing economy, warns a new report.
To nurture the next generation, kids from kindergarten to Grade 12 should take computer science as a mandatory part of the curriculum, recommends the Information and Communications Technology Council.
The organization released what it bills as Canada's first digital talent strategy Thursday.
In addition to having children learn to code and develop apps, the report includes some two dozen more recommendations.
Those range from encouraging more women, indigenous people and visible minorities working in the technology sector to helping small businesses adopt new technologies.
The ICTC described how increasingly connected devices — often called the Internet of Things — as well as robotics, cyber security, smart cities and other trends are expected to create big changes across sectors from manufacturing to health.
At the same time, low commodity prices and a lower Canadian dollar are making it that much more important to diversify the economy, ICTC said.
"Preparing and harnessing the full potential of Canada's innovative talent to create the industries of the future has never been more critical for the Canadian economy," said Namir Anani, President and CEO of ICTC.