B.C.'s technology industry is ramping up efforts to recruit new workers with more than 10,000 tech jobs up for grabs in the province this year.

A primary target, at least in the short term, is international technology students at U.S. universities who can't stay in that country after they graduate but want to live and work in North America.

"Over 100 students came to our workshop in Chicago [in November] and we had very good interest," said Pascal Spothelfer, president of the B.C. Technology Industry Association. "The universities want to work with us on this because they want to find well-paying jobs for their graduates. These people are ready for the picking for us and they're a very attractive target group for us."

The industry wants talented high-tech workers who want to immigrate to Canada and bring their skills to B.C. for the long term.

According to a new BCTIA report, the industry's talent shortage is growing, requiring more aggressive action than when the shortage was first identified in 2006. The industry is tackling the talent shortage on many fronts, including in April when a number of B.C. employers will participate in three recruiting forums in California in partnership with the B.C. government.

Almost 400 technology companies participated in the annual TechTalentBC Labour Demand Study, funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education. The study concluded there is increased demand for customer-facing roles, in particular 700 sales and sales management positions and 950 customer service positions. As well, there is a need for 1,000 software engineers, 500 project managers and hundreds of multimedia developers.