Province Invests in Young British Columbians

The Digital Supercluster has a Superpower. We attract the best organizations across industry, the public service sector, academia and government to solve some of Canada’s biggest societal challenges. Last Friday, we were very excited to hear the B.C. Government announce their $7 million investment support for the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator (CTTA) project through the StrongerBC Future Leaders Program.

In partnership with NPower Canada, Microsoft and Blueprint ADE, CTTA offers a 15-week online digital skills training and job placement program that will equip 3900 youth from low income, diverse backgrounds for in-demand digital careers across Canada. Up to 2000 of these students will be young British Columbians between the ages of 17 and 30. Collectively, these organizations will invest approximately $15.5 million to expand the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program in British Columbia.

Since launching in January 2021, the program is already seeing life changing results. They’ve exceeded their goal for 80% of graduates to secure IT related employment or higher education placements within 12 months of completing the CTTA program. In September the program celebrated the most recent cohort of graduates with more than 75% of CTTA graduates securing meaningful employment. Two recent graduates, Sofia Johnson and Leul Abebe, who completed the Junior Data Analyst Program and are now working in the tech sector, share their experience from the program in this video (complements of Microsoft):

“NPower Canada has not only given me the opportunity to start an exciting career in tech but also helped me meet like-minded individuals who are now friends and colleagues,” said Leul Abebe, a May 2021 graduate of the Junior Data Analyst program. “I have built a support group of mentors and fellow graduates that I can lean on for advice and that have helped propel my career to new heights.” COVID-19 exacerbated the ‘digital divide’ skills gap, and displaced many youth from employment in retail, hospitality and other industries. The program is focused on creating a more inclusive technology workforce, prioritizing youth who are historically underserved and underrepresented in the technology sector. To date, more than 40% of enrollees identify as female/transgender/nonbinary and 85% identify as Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

“This investment amplifies our Province’s commitment to building a strong and resilient economic recovery. Providing young British Columbians with opportunities for skills development and job training gives them accessible pathways to success in the digital economy, while connecting employers with ‘job-ready’, diverse talent for a fast-moving world,” says Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.

The program also serves as more than a technical designation that prepares youth with skills that employers want, but also creates an environment for holistic self-development. Through alumni, mentors and peers, students build the confidence and social support to succeed beyond the workplace.

As Canada continues to drive economic recovery, we’re proud to work with the BC Government, NPower Canada, Microsoft and Blueprint to empower Canadians with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the digital world.

Learn more:

Learn more about the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator project

Watch the in-person announcement

Read the Province of B.C.’s news release

Read Microsoft’s blog post

Learn more about the NPower Canada’s Junior Data Analyst Program

Learn more about NPower Canada’s Junior IT Analyst Program