Google Canada Commits $2 Million to Digital Re-skilling

By Margaux Perrin

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Google Canada wants to improve job prospects for Canadians.

A recently announced $2 million commitment will help Canadians in underserved communities earn a potentially career-changing Google Career Certificate in under six months. 

“We saw that gap and the opportunity to build digital skills for people who may be looking for work and not have it, or looking to up-skill within jobs that they have,” says Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Director, Google Canada.

To make the initiative possible, Google Canada partnered up with NPower Canada, in collaboration with youth and workforce development nonprofits like Pathways to Education, Toronto Public Library and the YMCA. 

Together they are offering 5,000 needs-based scholarships to underrepresented youth to earn digital skill certificates in Data Analytics, Project Management, UX Design, or IT Support. With the growing demand for technology-based jobs and increased technological use—especially since the global pandemic started—these certificates can help open the door to one’s next step.

“We’ve looked at the skills where there is demand and there are 22,000 open jobs right now in the fields that correspond to these certificates that we’ve launched,” says Geremia. “It’s a really important thing to build digital skills and we believe in equity, so it’s really important that we make it accessible to everyone.”

How it works

By dedicating five to 10 hours a week, participants can earn their certification in as little as six months’ time. Though, Geremia says participants can set their own pace, as she knows that life can be busy, “If you need more time, it just takes longer and that’s not a problem.” 

Once the program is complete, participants will be equipped with the theoretical and practical knowledge to be successful in an entry-level technology job.

Having spoken with graduates from Google certificate programs recently, Geremia says that the biggest thing that stuck out to her was how it opened up the doors for people to believe in themselves, especially during a time, like the pandemic, when all hope was lost.

“Every day, they get up and they focus on this—and they had never imagined that a digital career was for them because they did not have what they believed to be ‘digital skills’,” she says. “Now, they’re so excited about the possibilities of all the different careers that they can have.”

Creating Opportunities

To help program graduates find jobs, Google Canada has launched an Employer Consortium with partners such as Google, TELUS, KPMG, and Loblaws. Each company will receive the CV of the program’s graduates to see if there is an appropriate placement within the organization that fits the graduates’ interest and the company’s needs, to the benefit of both parties.

With the $2 million commitment, Geremia says she hopes that anyone who is interested applies, and stresses that there is no need to be intimidated by digital skills training.

“You don’t need to be like a digital expert to be doing these. These are not designed in that way. They really are for everybody,” she says. “I think a lot of people would really benefit and enjoy and have fun learning about digital because it’s really, really interesting and, and it’s very exciting where careers can lead.”

If you’re interested in gaining some new digital skills to help you obtain that dream job, visit NPower Canada for more information about the program and how to apply for one of the 5,000 scholarships. 

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