Vancouver tech supercluster, private sector earmark $2M for career development program

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Accelerator program has helped more than 3,300 applicants from underrepresented groups across Canada

More than 6,000 jobseekers will get some help with career development thanks to another $2 million headed to the Canadian Tech Talent Accelerator (CTTA).

The funds are a continued effort from Vancouver-based non-profit Digital, previously known as the Digital Technology Supercluster, as well as Microsoft Canada Inc. and the CIBC Foundation, according to a Tuesday announcement from NPower Canada.

CTTA works to bridge talent gaps in the tech industry by setting up diverse and underrepresented applicants with training, certifications and job placement.

NPower Canada, a charitable organization that focuses on setting Canadians on career paths, launched the CTTA workforce development program in January 2021 with the goal of helping with the post-pandemic economic recovery effort.

“Supporting equity and diversity within Canada’s technology sector is crucial to our country’s continued growth and prosperity. By building accessible pathways to digital jobs, the CTTA is launching thousands of jobseekers across Canada into their future careers,” Sydney Goodfellow, director of Digital’s talent-focused program, the Digital Learning Lab, said in a release.

The CTTA has helped more than 3,300 applicants from underrepresented groups enroll in NPower Canada’s workforce development program. Eighty per cent of applicants have gone on to land secure employment within six months, according to the announcement.

In addition to the core programs already offered such as data analytics and visualization, IT service management and artificial intelligence, the CTTA will be adding skills training in cybersecurity.

NPower says the continued funding will also go towards meeting goals set out in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.

The Vancouver-based supercluster now known as Digital previously provided $1.4 million to the CTTA, in addition to $7.3 million in funding from private sector, when the CTTA launched in January 2021.

Digital received a $153-million funding commitment from the federal government in fall 2018 in a bid to stoke business collaborations between a broad range of private and public organizations over five years.

The pandemic shook up those plans, with Ottawa mandating in April 2020 that all five of the nation’s superclusters were to redirect resources towards addressing COVID-19. The DTS eventually closed out its pandemic-related investments to the tune of $60 million by August 2020.

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