The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered Canada’s economy and labour market. The increase in the need for digital skills has widened the ‘digital divide’ and skills gap, contributing to higher unemployment – especially for more vulnerable Canadians.
In response Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster has announced its largest investment to date in developing in-demand digital talent through its Capacity Building Program.
The Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator project is a total investment of $8.7 million, with $7.3 million invested by industry and other partners and $1.4 million of co-investment by the Government of Canada’s Innovation, Science and Industry through the Digital Supercluster.
This new project supports Canada’s future by providing in-demand technology skills to young Canadians underrepresented in our economy, preparing them for the digital workforce and supporting Canada’s economic recovery.
NPower Canada is collaborating with Microsoft Canada and Blueprint to launch the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator: a 15-week online skills training and job placement program that will equip 2,500 underrepresented youth (18 to 29 years old) for in-demand digital careers across Canada.
“By partnering with industry players like Microsoft we better understand the challenges they face in identifying skilled talent as we continue to drive technology adoption across our economy. Through this project we continue to support scaling digital companies and saving and creating jobs for all Canadians” said Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.
The project’s curriculum will adapt to employer’s skill requirements and once completed, students will earn industry certification and receive support to find a technology position.
“The pandemic has accelerated the world’s digital transformation creating an even greater need for people to learn new skills, said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “We are committed to providing tools and resources to ensure those currently in the workforce, jobseekers and future leaders have the opportunity to acquire in-demand digital skills. Our collaboration with the Digital Technology Supercluster and NPower Canada will help ensure Canadians, particularly those in underserved communities, have access to these opportunities.”