IT consultancy Infosys plans to create 500 jobs in Calgary by 2023

11 March 2021 3 min. read
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Infosys, a global provider of IT consulting, outsourcing, and managed services, has announced plans to create 500 jobs in Calgary over the next three years.

The Calgary growth is part of a wider Canadian expansion from the India-based tech giant. The firm in the last two years created 2,000 jobs in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal, and plans to double its Canada headcount to 4,000 employees by 2023.

Infosys has yet to settle on a physical location for its Calgary office. The firm will use the location to scale work with clients in Western Canada and the Central and Northwest United States.

“Calgary is a natural next step as part of our Canadian expansion and represents a significant and promising market for Infosys. The city is home to a thriving talent pool that the Covid-related economic downturn has impacted. We will tap into this talent and offer skills and opportunities that will build on the city’s economic strengths,” said Ravi Kumar, president of Infosys.

IT consultancy Infosys plans to create 500 jobs in Calgary by 2023

The IT consultancy says it will hire technology talent from 14 educational institutions in the country, including the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. Infosys also says it will also implement a reskilling program for individuals looking to shift careers from more traditional industries. The firm says it has created thousands of jobs in the US using this model.

“We are pleased to see Infosys’ continued growth in this region and their commitment to bringing 500 skilled jobs along with upskilling opportunities for our local workforce,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi added, “This is the latest proof that the plan to diversify our city’s economy is working.”

Alberta politicians are looking for any perceived victories to highlight amid a provincial economic reckoning, blasted by the dual forces of the pandemic and an oil sector decline. That desperation can often lead to greater concessions in terms of tax breaks and other juicy incentives for global corporations willing to open up shop. 

How many of Infosys’ Calgary staff will be local hires, however, is unclear. In America, Infosys – alongside rival Indian IT consulting companies such as TCS, HCL, and Wipro – greatly rely on the H-1B high-skill foreign worker visa to staff US offices. Forty percent of Infosys’ US staff (13,042 people) are on visas, predominantly composed of Indian tech workers on H-1B visas, which is the same level as rival TCS, according to Business Insider India. Tech Mahindra, meanwhile, staffs approximately half of its US footprint with visa holders.

In the post-war period, citizens cheered on their city fathers when they brought a factory to the area, because it meant good-paying jobs for a largely unskilled labour pool. When an IT firm opens an outpost in Calgary in 2021, what does it actually mean for its citizens with mostly mismatched skillsets? The idea of reskilling is a wonderful PR exercise, but it’s not going to be the primary hiring mechanic for any company looking to hit its revenue targets. And it’s not exactly practical or easy to turn oil sands truck drivers into coders. But the idea is a comforting distraction from the likelihood that many oil sector workers will be left behind when the dust of the “great energy transition” and “economic diversification” settles.