Calgary, July 25, 2023 — A study released today identifies that many skilled, mid-career individuals across industries are poised for the opportunity to find employment in tech roles in Calgary with the city’s leading upskilling program. The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and Calgary Economic Development’s new report, The Digital Imperative: Calgary’s Economic Edge, showcases viable employment pathways for a cohort of workers displaced from Calgary’s energy sector to in-demand tech jobs through the Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project (EDGE UP).
This report builds on a first-of-its-kind analysis of employment pathways introduced in a 2018 ICTC report that led to EDGE UP. The pilot program is a multi-stakeholder transition-to-tech initiative that tests new approaches to skills training led by Calgary Economic Development, funded by the Future Skills Centre and with key support from ICTC.
“Creating additional employment pathways for displaced workers to high growth sectors is paramount for enabling a resilient and thriving workforce in Calgary. By equipping this talent with the skills and training necessary for growth industry verticals, Calgary can seize the opportunity to foster economic growth while leveraging the full potential of the digital landscape,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.
The initial success of EDGE UP led to the launch of EDGE UP 2.0: A Scaling Opportunity in 2021, with over $5.4 million of funding from the Future Skills Centre and the Government of Canada for training an additional 320 displaced oil and gas professionals.
To develop a comprehensive approach to talent transformation, five additional energy sector occupations were added in EDGE UP 2.0 including finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, and logistics. In response to the emerging demand for talent in Calgary’s tech sector, the second iteration of EDGE UP added training streams in in-demand digital economy roles including back-end developers, site reliability engineers, marketing specialists and product managers. (All employment pathways, including skill matches and gaps, can be accessed at www.CalgaryUpskill.ca.)
“The evolution of EDGE UP 2.0 is testament to the adaptive learning opportunities available in Calgary. Post-secondaries and training programs empower life-long skills development and respond to the increased demand for tech talent across industries, including the energy sector,” said Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development.
To prepare talent for a successful career transition, this report defines employment crosswalks and outlines specific skill matches and gaps. Beyond hard skills, the analysis also identifies the importance of soft skills, employer perceptions and relevant macroeconomic trends to develop comprehensive employment pathways from upskilling programs.
“With Calgary’s vision to create long-term prosperity and opportunities for all, programs like EDGE UP 2.0 prepare the workforce for the new, digital economy,” said Jeanette Sutherland, Director of EDGE UP.
This study was produced in partnership with Calgary Economic Development.
A copy of the study can be accessed here.
About The Information and Communications Technology Council
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a neutral, not-for-profit national center of expertise with the mission of strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in the global economy. For over 30 years, and with a team of 110 experts, we have delivered forward-looking research, practical policy advice, and capacity-building solutions for individuals and businesses. The organization’s goal is to ensure that technology is utilized to drive economic growth and innovation and that Canada’s workforce remains competitive on a global scale.
To arrange an interview on this study or for other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.
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