Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator
Providing tech skills to unemployed and underemployed youth from communities underrepresented in the digital economy.
Updated October 24, 2023
The rapid increase in online work since 2020 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.
How We Are Solving It
In response starting in 2021, NPower Canada is collaborated with Microsoft Canada and Blueprint on the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator (CTTA), a project to support Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing valuable, in-demand tech skills to unemployed and underemployed youth (18 to 29 years old) from communities underrepresented in the digital economy. The project further supported 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.
Since January 2021, NPower Canada has leveraged 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 also designed and launched 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 was made to align with employers’ required skills and be adapted as hiring needs evolved.
Following the completion of the program, students earned industry certification and received support to find a technology position.
Microsoft Canada and NPower Canada also partnered 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.
Launched in January 2021, the CTTA initiative has been at the forefront of Canada’s post-pandemic economic recovery efforts, helping to bridge the talent gap by providing underserved job-seekers with essential digital skills, certifications, and job placement support. As of September 2023, The Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator has enabled over 3,300 diverse job-seekers to enroll in NPower Canada’s workforce development program nationwide, with an impressive 80% of program graduates securing meaningful and sustainable employment within six months.
In October 2023, we announced our continued co-investment with NPower Canada to scale the CTTA to launch thousands more job-seekers across Canada into meaningful careers in tech. Supported in part by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Workforce Solutions program and through NPower Canada working with Microsoft and the CIBC Foundation; the CTTA will leverage Microsoft’s best-in-class curricula to introduce an innovative skilling program in cybersecurity, while continuing to offer its existing core programs focused in Data Analytics and Visualization, IT Service Management, and Artificial Intelligence. Continuing this investment in the next generation of tech talent will provide local employers from coast-to-coast with a more diverse and inclusive digital talent pipeline equipped with in-demand digital skills.
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