The University of Victoria, three school districts, and several private schools have partnered on the launch of HighTechU, a pilot program for high school students that aims to develop skills for the tech industry beyond coding and other technical requirements.

The program focuses on “soft skills” such as project management and personal communication to help them better understand the breadth of roles in the tech sector; crucial skills that are sometimes overlooked in technology training.

The program, which is actively recruiting students from underrepresented groups such as women, Indigenous youth, and people of colour, wants to prepare students for the reality of the industry ahead of them, while making diversity a cornerstone of the program.

HighTechU has two programs: the Computer Science Skills Academy, a six-week program that teaches coding and practical skills; and a summer industry internship program to give those students an eight-week, paid experience with a local technology company in Victoria.

Read More: CBC