Good news for BlackBerry employees: Google looking for talent in Ontario

In a piece of good news for any BlackBerry employees who have already, or could be set to lose their jobs as the smartphone maker downsizes, a number of tech companies, including Google, are moving in to lap up Waterloo's local talent.

Google's Motorola Mobility unit is already setting out plans to take itself to the workers and establish a new hub in Waterloo, Ontario, the home of BlackBerry.

"We have a small space right now and we're looking to grow considerably," said Derek Phillips, engineering director of Motorola Canada.

Phillips would not say how many new hires were expected, but revealed that the company was particularly looking out for engineering and computer science talent.

The move does also make sense for the firm structurally, as Google already has its existing Canadian development HQ in Waterloo.

Google purchased Motorola Mobility last year when the telecoms firm Motorola was split in two. The deal was worth $12.5 billion (£7.8 billion) and included Google taking over ownership of Motorola's large comms patent portfolio. Google is now looking to transform the company into a profitable mobile phone business.

Waterloo is host to hundreds of tech firms, which are partly attracted to the city by graduates from the University of Waterloo's highly respected computer science, engineering and tech courses.

"The goal is to try to get just as many people who are interested to come out and hire as many people as we can. I think as long as we can find really good people, we will find a way to hire them," added Phillips.

BlackBerry has already laid off hundreds of workers across the world and said it needs make a further 4000 redundancies if the situation remains the same.

On Monday it was announced that the company is set to be purchased by a consortium led by the owner of its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial in a $4.7 billion (£2.9 billion) deal. It is not known if the mass redundancies will still go ahead if the sale is successful.

The Canadian consortium has not yet raised the necessary funds, but Fairfax Financial chief exec Prem Watsa on Wednesday said he is confident the deal will go ahead.

Image credit: Wikipedia (Giligone)