Microsoft extends skilling program to eight new institutions across Canada, including NBCC, enabling more students to graduate with in-demand data analytics, AI and cloud certifications
TORONTO – March 23, 2021 – Today, Microsoft Canada announced the addition of eight post-secondary institutions to the Canada Skills Program, bringing the total to 20 schools in six provinces across Canada. New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) is the only College in Atlantic Canada to be added.
“The acceleration of automation and digitalization over the past 12 months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic puts new emphasis on the importance of skills in cloud computing, data analytics, and artificial intelligence, certifications offered by the Canada Skills Program,” said Mary Butler, President and CEO of NBCC. “The partnership between NBCC and Microsoft Canada will equip more people with the skills security to thrive in a changing world of work.”
Launched last fall, the Canada Skills Program allows students to acquire in-demand cloud, data and AI skills and Microsoft certifications alongside their institutions’ credentials, enhancing their employability as they enter the job market. In the first six months, over 20,000 students have participated.
New data from the Information and Communication Technology Council of Canada (ICTC) found that 50 per cent of all information technology (IT) departments of companies surveyed in North America currently identified as either short-staffed or understaffed in ICT roles, and the innovation economy is expected to create an additional 149 million new jobs by 2025. For Canada to take advantage of this opportunity, industry and post-secondary partners must address the persistent challenge of the tech talent pipeline.
The Canada Skills Program aims to address this challenge and will support a minimum of 2,000 additional students in diploma, degree and continuing education programs across Canada by enabling them to graduate with in-demand data analytics, AI and cloud certifications.
“Microsoft continues to invest in skilling initiatives because building a talent pipeline equipped with cloud, data and AI skills is key to strengthening Canada’s innovation economy,” said Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada. “The pandemic has made these needs more acute than ever and expanding the Canada Skills Program means even more students will start their careers with the fundamentals they need to land meaningful work and drive accelerated innovation for Canada.”
The eight post-secondary institutions added to the Canada Skills Program include:
- New Brunswick Community College (New Brunswick)
- Georgian College (Ontario)
- La Cité Collégiale (Ontario)
- McMaster University, DeGroote School of Business (Ontario)
- University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies (Ontario)
- University of Waterloo (Ontario)
- La Salle College Vancouver (British Columbia)
- Red River College (Manitoba)
This expansion of the Canada Skills Program is the latest in Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to enabling greater access to digital skills and providing students with the tools they need to support the Canadian economy as it emerges from the challenges caused by COVID-19.
With six campuses across New Brunswick, NBCC contributes to New Brunswick’s social and economic prosperity by supporting the aspirations of individual learners, seizing the opportunities of the labour market, and collaboratively solving the challenges of communities and industry. In addition to more than 90 certificate and diploma programs, NBCC also provides specialized and customized training to meet the needs of specific sectors and communities. Find out more information on NBCC programs by visiting: www.nbcc.ca.
About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.
Tanya Greer, NBCC
Lead, Strategic Communications
Julia Perreira, Veritas Communications