The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is proud to announce that it is partnering with the Province of British Columbia, Innovate BC, and Mitacs to hire 3,000 post-secondary education students and persons from underrepresented groups into the tech sector through the Innovator Skills Initiative program. 

The Innovator Skills Initiative provides grants to businesses and non-profits to help underrepresented people get their first job in the tech sector or in a tech-enabled role. The initiative also provides wage subsidies for employers to hire students in work integrated learning placements and helps businesses and non-profits facing skill shortages to grow and expand.  

The Province’s investment of $15 million is being supplemented by the partners, bringing the total investment into the Innovator Skills Initiative program to $29 million.  

“We are building an economy that works for everyone – one that is sustainable, innovative and inclusive of all British Columbians. When COVID swept the province, hardships fell disproportionately on many including Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, youth, women, and gender diverse people, 2SLGBTQ+ and people from marginalized communities,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “At the same time, many B.C. companies are growing and need help filling in-demand technology roles. This program will help clear pathways for skilled, underrepresented people who deserve meaningful, long-term employment that helps them support their families.”   

“ICTC is thrilled to partner with the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation on the Innovator Skills Initiative program,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO. “This pivotal partnership will expand upon ICTC’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Digital program to provide businesses in B.C. with wage subsidies and will be instrumental in acquiring innovation ready students for tomorrow’s economy. This is particularly critical for accelerating British Colombia’s digital-led economic recovery in an increasingly global and competitive landscape.”   

Funding for ICTC’s WIL Digital component of the Innovator Skills Initiative program is provided by the Government of Canada.  

The Innovator Skills Initiative program provides B.C. companies with subsidies of up to $10,000 per employee hired for technology jobs and tech-enabled roles. British Columbia companies may be eligible for up 10 positions.  

I want to thank everyone who provided invaluable input to the Innovator Skills Initiative program redesign. With your expertise, we have created a program that will help more people become part of our strong, innovative and inclusive technology sector with career starts that can lead to permanent good jobs,” said Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation. “With the program changes in place, B.C. companies will have an easier time accessing the program and quickly putting new employees, with the right technology skills, in place. By consulting with businesses and people from marginalized communities, we have created a program that will help strengthen the diversity of the tech sector.”  

ICTC is accepting applications now. All the funding will be disbursed on or before March 31, 2022. 

Businesses located in B.C. who are interested in applying for the Innovator Skills Initiative program can apply here.