As many as 2,000 young British Columbians will have a chance to improve their tech skills and knowledge through the expansion of the Canadian Tech Accelerator program aimed at bringing more people into the province’s booming tech sector.

The initiative, part of the StrongerBC Future Leaders Program, will further up-skill people between 17 and 30, better preparing them for future job opportunities in tech-enabled fields.

“We know the pandemic created additional challenges for young and under-represented people across the province. They have faced unprecedented challenges in navigating the pandemic, including finding meaningful jobs to build their careers,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Connecting those who have been disproportionately affected to hands-on training and learning opportunities in the tech sector is critical to launch and grow their careers. Through this program, our government is building a more inclusive, highly skilled and competitive workforce, which is vital to B.C.’s economic recovery.”

The initiative, which will give priority to Indigenous, Black, people of colour (IBPOC), women, 2SLGBTQ+ people, immigrants and people living with disabilities, provides under-represented people access to first-rate training through NPower Canada’s junior IT analyst program and the new junior data analyst program.

The program is being delivered in partnership with the Province, the Digital Technology Supercluster, Microsoft Canada, NPower Canada and Blueprint. Collectively, these organizations will invest approximately $15.5 million to expand the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program in British Columbia.

Applications are open for the junior IT analyst program and the junior data analyst program and will close on Jan. 24, 2022. Applications for the spring session will remain open until May 16, 2022.

The first participants of the junior IT analyst program graduated in late May 2021 and are already securing employment. Training from these two analyst programs will help prepare people for a range of job opportunities in tech-enabled fields.

“For young British Columbians who are unemployed or underemployed – feeling like they are not reaching their full potential – the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program can help them move forward into a meaningful career with long-term growth,” said NPower Canada CEO Julia Blackburn. “Our program is not just about training people for technical jobs, it’s about preparing them for the future of work. This includes an increasing number of careers that are tech-enabled as organizations look to use digital technology in new ways.”

“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 who have helped propel my career to new heights.”

This Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator program is part of the StrongerBC Future Leaders Program that provides youth and young adults with training, internships, co-ops and jobs in a variety of sectors, including the tech sector, environment and natural resource fields.

The program aligns with the Province’s priority to support growth by enhancing representation from under-represented people as the government works toward building a more innovative, sustainable, and inclusive future.

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