Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator
Supporting Canada’s economic recovery by providing tech skills to unemployed and underemployed youth from communities underrepresented in the digital economy.
Project Budget – $15.5M
Partner Co-investment – $14.1M
Supercluster Co-investment – $1.4M
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically altered Canada’s economy and labour market. In particular, the rapid increase in online work has widened the digital divide and skills gap, contributing to higher unemployment – especially for more vulnerable Canadians. Indigenous, Black and other racialized citizens, people with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ youth, women and newcomers to our country face multiple barriers to employment. More than ever, digital skills training and resources are needed to ensure no one is left behind by the digital revolution.
In response, NPower Canada is collaborating with Microsoft Canada and Blueprint on the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator (CTTA), a project to support Canada’s economic recovery by providing valuable, in-demand tech skills to unemployed and underemployed youth (18 to 29 years old) from communities underrepresented in the digital economy. This project also further supports the scaling of NPower Canada as a pan-Canadian workforce development initiative, expanding to British Columbia in mid-2021 while growing its impact in Calgary, Halifax and the Greater Toronto Area.
Starting in January 2021, NPower Canada will leverage best-in-class educational resources developed by Microsoft to deliver a 15-week online skills training program to 2,500 participants in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax. NPower Canada will also design and launch a new Junior Data Analyst training stream leveraging Microsoft Learn resources and Microsoft Azure, as well as work with employers in their networks to identify the types of junior digital positions that need to be filled quickly. The CTTA curriculum will align with employers’ required skills and will be adapted as hiring needs evolve.
Following the completion of the program, students will earn industry certification and receive support to find a technology position.
Microsoft Canada and NPower Canada will also partner with Blueprint to develop a strategic evidence roadmap and analyze the outcomes of the CTTA initiative for youth and employers, and to determine how best to scale elements of the program to increase its impact across the country.