Get Youth Hired – The Final Frontier

By 3 June 2014 No Comments

Digital technologies are fast re-shaping the Canadian economy. The opportunities and implications for Canadian economic prosperity are immense – but only if Canadians have the skills necessary to ensure we compete.

Our research demonstrates that there won’t be enough skilled talent to address all the digital economy’s needs. Addressing talent supply shortages, we have long asserted, will require at least four elements along a continuum of initiatives aimed at getting more Canadian youth into the talent pipeline:

  1. Ensure that children are engaged with science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) studies as early as possible
  2. Attract youth into the high-school studies necessary to pursue an ICT career path
  3. Provide entrepreneurial and business training to students in post-secondary ICT career studies
  4. Bridge the challenging gap between graduation and first employment


ICTC is addressing two of these requirements through the Focus on IT program as well as the CareerConnect projects.

ICTC’s Focus on IT (FIT) is a nationally recognized certificate program that works with over 200 educational institutions, reaching over 5000 students, to ensure the skills of the future are being taught today. It is the first step in encouraging youth to research and pursue ICT careers. FIT is developed with the help of top educational and industry professionals and is a unique course pathway that allows the exploration of the many facets of ICT. Over 2200 students have received FIT certificates since 2008.

Group of young students at high school

The CareerConnect project at ICTC helps post-secondary graduates with the opportunity to launch their career. The project has successfully assisted over a thousand college and university students from across Canada receive valuable ICT work experience by providing a wage subsidy to employers. From 2013-2014 alone, 92% of students have found employment following their placement. The project has full support from the participating employers.

Our survey of participating employers demonstrates universal agreement with the statement: “CareerConnect is valuable to our company as well as the ICT sector.” This innovative project is changing the outlook of students who are seeking their first job.


For more information on the CareerConnect project contact:

[email protected]


For more information on Focus IT contact:

Tracy Biernacki-Dusza, National Program Manager

[email protected]


The CareerConnect program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy which helps young people gain the skills and work experience needed to make a successful transition into the labour market.

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