Close to 2,000 young British Columbians will have the opportunity to improve their technology skills and knowledge through the expansion of the Canadian Tech Accelerator program.

As part of the StrongerBC Future Leaders Program, the program will further up-skill people between the ages of 17 and 30, to better prepare them for future job opportunities in the tech field.

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.

“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 first participants of the Junior IT Analyst program graduated in late May 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.

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.