A “Skills for Hire” program to address the ICT sector skills gap has been launched by Digital Nova Scotia, the industry association for the province’s ICT sector, and Bluedrop Performance Learning, a specialist in workplace e-learning, simulation and training management.  

The project will develop an online blended ICT skills program and carve out career pathways for recent graduates, incumbent workers and unemployed and under-served populations.

Spanning Nova Scotia and expanding into Newfoundland and Labrador, the project has received $2,496,082 in federal funding from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to deliver the project over three years, the partners said in a statement.

By working with local employers to understand their entry level ICT resource requirements, the Skills for Hire program will be responsive to their needs and provide program participants with different training paths to match their interests. 

“The exponential growth of the ICT sector and its fast-paced global impact continue to be a significant differentiator for our industry, country and province,” Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, President and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia said in the statement.

She said the program is designed to complement programs run by post-secondary institutions. “It will also enable us to upskill our workforce with technical and non-technical skills to meet the rapidly rising demand for talent and have a deep impact on our industry.”

Bluedrop, which is headquartered in St. John’s with an operating office in Halifax, will provide the system to manage program applications, develop and provide the online training for the different training paths and host them on their learning management system, Bluedrop360. The program will be delivered through its subsidiary Bluedrop Learning Networks.

“Addressing the ICT skills gap requires bold ideas and a multi-faceted approach – it is encouraging to have ESDC invest in research initiatives such as Skills for Hire and I am confident that the program’s success will benefit our ICT sector,” said Emad Rizkalla, Founder and CEO of Bluedrop Performance Learning.