expressed opinion entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Salesperson 2022 Digital Skills Index About 81% of Canadians and 71% of Americans feel ill-equipped to acquire and master the digital skills that businesses across industries need today, and 86% and 74% feel unprepared to meet future demands, according to the report.
During the pandemic, the demand for individuals with the skills and knowledge to meet the needs of digitally transformed industries and sectors has grown even faster.according to Information and Communication Technology Council (ICTC)Canada’s demand for digitally-skilled talent is projected to reach 305,000 by 2023, bringing employment in the digital economy to over 2 million in total. In the U.S., that number rises to the millions in the most conservative projections, and many players in the tech ecosystem are trying to get around the problem by offering online training to the masses. Digital and tech careers provide some of the largest employment opportunities for North America’s modern workforce.
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At the same time, for example, the unemployment rate in Canada is 1.5 times higher in indigenous populations.According to the 2019 forecast, approximately 5.1% of the Canadian workforce are currently working in the tech industry if the percentage applies to Employed Indigenous Populationwhich should mean some 29,682 Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit people work in the tech industry.
Unfortunately, this is far from the case.Aboriginal youth, one in Canada fastest growing population, make up only 1.2% Information and communication technology workers.they are too underrepresented STEM fields at higher-level academic institutions.
according to a report from Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute and Canadian Aboriginal Business Council (CCAB), 33.8% of Indigenous workers are in industries that are at high risk of losing their jobs due to automation, a trend that has accelerated during the pandemic. This constitutes the 250,000 jobs held by indigenous peoples.
In their report, the CCAB made recommendations to address the issue, for example, by investing in greater access to higher education levels for Indigenous peoples. current obstacles This includes forced relocation, lack of mentoring and culturally appropriate products, educational costs and intergenerational trauma. While addressing these issues in traditional post-secondary education is critical, alternatives that can help resolve issues more quickly must also be highlighted.
Related: Study: Tech companies need to examine their diversity blind spots
ways to help
The job deficit in the tech industry provides a window of opportunity for more Aboriginal employment, and micro-credentials can help make that happen. Micro-credentials are assessed learning certificates related to specific skills or abilities. They enable upskilling in a flexible, fast and affordable way, and help businesses gain a more direct view of which specific skills job candidates possess.
One of the current hurdles is that many microcredentials still require a fee, as providers include large corporations, colleges, universities, and other professional organizations, although there is often an opportunity to cover some of the cost through tax credits. Nonetheless, the bureaucratic or corporate nature of many of these opportunities creates barriers to access, creating a dire need for charities working with Indigenous and underserved communities to make such programs more accessible.
That’s why I started philanthropy crime Back in 2016. We recently launched an initiative with Google support called Recoding Futures to provide free, scholarship-based digital skills training to thousands of Aboriginal learners in Canada. Our three-month part-time courses are tailored to the technical needs and requirements of local employers to ensure graduates develop the skills to prepare them for success.
In addition to technology-based learning, we focus on key job skills, such as resume building and interview training, as well as professional growth and mentoring opportunities that develop graduates into high-quality candidates for in-demand technical jobs. An important aspect of this is the delivery of courses remotely, allowing greater access for people living in remote communities who might otherwise not have access to quality education.
This is not an all-encompassing solution, as countless other barriers remain, including unreliable internet access, especially in remote communities and protected areas, and unsafe living conditions. Micro-credentials will not address these complex issues, which require collaboration between Indigenous communities and leadership, all levels of government, the private sector, non-profit organizations and others, but they provide a platform for transferable education and skills acquisition. opportunity and affordability.
At the same time, this helps address the digital skills gap that hinders growth and innovation. Crucially, we teach skills and experiences applicable to rapidly transforming economies, helping people develop the tools to adapt and succeed in an increasingly digital world.
according to a report According to research by the Public Policy Forum and the Diversity Institute, by 2026, 350,000 Indigenous youth in Canada will reach working age, and if the right investments are made to ensure that these populations receive the right opportunities and support, they can add to the local economy each year C$27.7 billion. This will help develop local talent.
To be successful, training must be culturally relevant, transferable back to the community and the wider workforce, and empower students to connect with Indigenous role models. To be useful in this regard, employers must be open to candidates with micro-credentials, not or as a complement to traditional education. A growing number of employers in North America see the value in micro-credentials and remove the traditional post-secondary requirements for applications, a trend that is likely to grow over the next decade.
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