In an effort to upskill thousands of Canadians, the Government of British Columbia is partnering with the Digital Technology Supercluster, NPower Canada, Microsoft Canada and Blueprint to collectively invest over $15 million to expand the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program in B.C.
This investment will create equitable economic opportunity for up to 2,000 B.C. residents, between the ages of 17 and 30, access to first-rate training to develop skills that will prepare them for a range of careers in tech-enabled fields.
Inspired by the Microsoft Global Skills Initiative, which enabled 1 million Canadians to access new skills, NPower Canada is spearheading the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program, which focuses on serving communities who are furthest away from economic opportunity and who have been historically underserved and underrepresented in the technology sector.
“Last year, 46 percent of our enrollees identified as female, but we hope to bring that up to at least 50 percent this year,” says Andrew Reddin, Chief Operating Officer at NPower Canada. “And more than 85 percent of the youth we serve are Black, Indigenous and people of colour.”
More than 30 percent of those who are enrolled in the program are also new Canadians, either immigrants or refugees. NPower Canada also prioritizes enrollment for LGBTQ2+ youth and those with disabilities. “Microsoft and the Digital Technology Supercluster are as deeply invested in creating a more inclusive technology workforce as we are,” adds Reddin. “That’s why working in close partnership with them is so important to us.”
NPower Canada acts as the bridge between supply and demand, equipping unemployed and underemployed Canadians with the in-demand digital skills needed by industry partners to fill critical talent shortages.
To build these bridges, NPower Canada works closely with organizations like Microsoft, their partner companies and start-ups, to understand its talent and skills requirements, while also working directly with the public sector and nonprofits to engage underserved communities and recruit jobseekers for its no-cost programs.
Since launching in early 2021, the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program has helped 240 Canadians gain in-demand digital skills needed to confidently enter technology careers. More than 70% of participants of the Junior IT Analyst Program who graduated in May 2021 have already secured employment.
Applications for the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator Junior IT Analyst program and the Junior Data Analyst program are open until on January 24, 2022.