Google invests in training for Canadian youth

Employers encouraged to join consortium for hiring of scholarship graduates

Google invests in training for Canadian youth
Google Canada offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont.

Google Canada is looking to help Canadian youth start careers in the tech industry within just six months.

The tech company is investing $2 million to provide a three-year grant to NPower Canada, which will deliver Google Career Certificate programs and deploy 5,000 need-based scholarships to access the program.

The certificates are intended to prepare jobseekers for new, high-demand careers in growing sectors, with no degree or relevant experience required, and are available in data analytics, project management, UX design and IT support.

"To help jobseekers that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, we need to invest in skills training in jobs with demonstrable demand," says Sabrina Geremia, VP and country director at Google Canada. "Google Career Certificates build an onramp to great jobs with no degree or experience required, which helps break down barriers and create opportunities for underserved groups entering the tech workforce."

In Canada, from February to April 2020, the unemployment rate increased by 20.4 per cent for young women (to 28.4 per cent) and 14.3 per cent for young men (to 27.1 per cent) aged below 25, compared to an increase of just over six per cent for older workers, according to a previous report.

Non-profit distribution

The scholarships will be distributed by NPower Canada, in collaboration with youth and workforce development nonprofits such as Pathways to Education, Toronto Public Library and the YMCA, focusing on young Canadian adults from these underserved communities. Google Canada will also provide these nonprofits with additional funds to improve existing job training programs. 

"Last year we began offering Google's IT Support Certificate, and currently 83 per cent of youth who graduated in September 2020 are employed or in a new education post completion of the program," says Andrew Reddin, chief development officer at NPower Canada.

YMCA Canada said on Twitter it was proud to be involved with the program “to provide digital skills training, including 5K in scholarships, to help those hit hardest by #COVID19 find careers in tech.”

While workers are eager to improve their digital skills, only 40 per cent have successfully done so amid the pandemic, according to another report.

Employers encouraged to get involved

Google is also introducing a Google Career Certificate Employer Consortium for the scholarship graduates. It’s made up of employers such as KPMG, TELUS and Loblaw that will consider graduates of NPower Canada’s Google Career Certificate programs for eligible roles. Interested employers are encouraged to join the consortium, says Google.

Late in March, RBC announced it is set to welcome more than 1,400 students for summer internships throughout its business functions starting in this month.

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