Firing Up Fintech: A New ICTC Program Helps Ontario Newcomers Step into FinTech Jobs

By 10 November 2020 No Comments

A new program offered by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Arrival to Fintech Ready (AFR), is helping newcomers to Ontario expand their digital skills in preparation for careers in FinTech.

Fintech—financial services assisted by digital technology—is a rapidly expanding field in which blockchain development skills are in high demand. Moreover, blockchain technology is increasingly sought out by companies and organizations across the wider Canadian economy, including retail and public administration, according to the most recent ICTC research.

The launch of ICTC’s Arrival to FinTech Ready program parallels the Ontario government’s September 11 announcement that it is investing more than $2.2 million to help over 600 job seekers in Ottawa develop the skills they need to establish tech careers.

Under the government funding arrangement, ICTC received $497,155 to train 25 jobseekers on blockchain technology used in the financial services industry, followed by a work placement (alongside four other recipients of funding named in the government press release).

“Our government is committed to helping Ontarians gain in-demand training so they can be ready for future employers,” stated Monte McNaughton, Ontario government Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, in the press release. “This investment will help our communities in Ottawa, and we are excited to partner with local organizations to address unique economic challenges while helping people find work.”

Arrival to FinTech Ready leverages ICTC’s synergies with industry, education, and training providers to drive innovation, help employers find skilled workers, and help job seekers find well-paid careers in tech. According to the Digital Chamber of Commerce Canada, the median salary across the blockchain-based industry is roughly $98,423 (October 2019).

ICTC is also working with George Brown College on a new specialization within the college’s existing blockchain developer program, which will allow students to focus on and prepare for working in the financial services industry.

“I’m extremely pleased to continue to support the development of the blockchain developer program at George Brown College, the first of its kind in Canada,” said Marc Lijour, ICTC’s VP Capacity and Innovation Readiness, who was instrumental in the launch of this postgraduate certificate program two years ago. “ICTC is uniquely positioned to provide the original research on the labour market and the emerging technology trends that are critical to rapidly launch training programs such as this one. Our ability to tackle both ends of the talent equation, industry needs, and individual readiness can turn training programs into hiring pipelines for emerging tech positions.”

As for the structure of the program, AFR participants were provided a three-week ICTC course as an introduction to the Canadian FinTech ecosystem. The soft skills training portion included an orientation to Canadian business practices and job preparation support that included sessions on resumes, cover letters, job search, LinkedIn and networking. This was followed by a three-semester Blockchain Development post-graduate certificate program offered by George Brown College. AFR also includes a 360-hour paid work placement with an Ontario employer (as a work-integrated learning experience).

Arrival to Fintech Ready FAQs are here.

The AFR program website is here. (Please note that registration is currently closed.)

For more information on AFR, please contact the ICTC program team at [email protected]