Training program launches to support underrepresented youth to become active members of the province’s tech sector, and contribute to a diverse and innovative industry.
AUGUST 20, 2021 – HALIFAX, NS – Designed to provide underrepresented youth (aged 18-35) the opportunity to gain valuable expertise in high-demand entry level IT career paths, Digital Nova Scotia’s new program, Get Into IT will simultaneously address the need for qualified talent within Nova Scotia’s tech sector. The free 25-week, virtual program will officially launch Monday, August 23, 2021 and begin accepting applications for Cybersecurity Analyst and IT Support Specialist training.
Funded through the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education’s Back to Work Community Partnerships, the initiative aims to help employers hire skilled workers while supporting those from underrepresented groups prepare for, train and connect to meaningful employment. Get Into IT will increase the participation rate for underrepresented groups in our workforce and engage participants in one of the province’s fastest growing sectors. Digital skills are highly employable in our labor market, especially given the global pandemic, and this program includes resources to help participants secure employment post-completion.
According to APEC‘s 2019 Digital Technology Firms: Their Importance and Role in Atlantic Canada’s Economy Report, Labour was identified as the number one challenge for digital technology firms, yet underrepresented groups still make up less of the total labour force in Nova Scotia. According to Statistics Canada, unemployment rates for visible minorities are higher than the rates for the rest of Nova Scotians. African Nova Scotians and First Nations face unemployment rates between 4.5-12.6% higher than the average rate of unemployment across the province.
“As the industry association for our ICT and digital technologies sector, we play a fundamental role in capacity building and skills development to support the growth of our industry. By promoting a diverse landscape of talent in tech, our sector can benefit from the diversity of thought, cultural backgrounds, ideas to stimulate innovation, and access to new talent. Get into IT enables Nova Scotia community members who face barriers to their employment to have access to digital skill development, career and job search support, industry mentorship, and pathways to employment.” says Wayne Sumarah, CEO of Digital Nova Scotia.
Diversity and inclusion are critical to the province’s technology workforce, and Digital Nova Scotia is working to address the need for more underrepresented persons to enter the province’s ICT sector. Through Get Into IT, Digital Nova Scotia aims to foster the growth of the digital economy in Nova Scotia by removing barriers of opportunity, development, and access that impact people of colour, Indigenous peoples, women, people with disabilities, and immigrants.
“The Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office welcomes the opportunity to grow our relationship with Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) in order to ensure our community members have the opportunity to participate in Nova Scotia’s growing digital economy. Working together as partners to help deliver the Get into IT program is a significant step in that direction. The DNS team are creating an exciting program to engage Mi’kmaw youth that will provide them real skills and an introduction to the sector. We hope together to light the spark of interest that leads to a career in the sector.” Says Alex Paul, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office.
Digital Nova Scotia has partnered with Coursera to provide fully digital online-skills training for learners who are interested in pursuing a career as an IT Support Specialist (course content developed by Google), or as a Cybersecurity Analyst (course content developed by IBM). The training programs were developed based on industry hiring needs, industry consultations, and labour market data. Professional development, industry networking opportunities, and in-course support will also be offered as part of this program.
Applications open August 23, 2021. More information can be found here.
Caitlin Patterson, Director of Marketing & Communications
Digital Nova Scotia