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Bridge the Tech Talent Gap and Hire Inclusively

Have you ever considered hiring a student to help you with your business?

With the rapidly evolving landscape of the advanced manufacturing sector and adaptations of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), visual machine learning etc. in the fields of automotive manufacturing, healthcare, agri-tech, oil and gas as well as the hospitality sector, bringing a student employee on board to support your talent needs can be a game-changer. In fact, it’s bad business not to. That is what you will hear if you ask hundreds of employers who have been utilizing TECHNATION Canada’s Career Ready Program.

Career Ready is centered on Work-Integrated-Learning (WIL). By giving a student an opportunity to apply their studies within a workplace, you give them the chance to develop professional skills (“soft skills”) prior to their entry into the workforce. Thus, WIL-based talent development is a win-win investment that can pay off with reduced hiring and training costs and an improved skill profile at your organization. By hiring a Career Ready student, you become part of a powerful community and a driver of serious economic force.

Over 90% of our employer partners confirmed their students were qualified for an entry-level position at their company after their work placement. And 84% of our employer partners reported they would consider hiring their students long-term after graduation. Many employers see the Career Ready Program as a ‘try before you buy’ solution.  In a tight labour market, WIL can help employers stay competitive in attracting talent. It could be your opportunity to distinguish your company as an employer of choice amongst the emerging talent pool.

Besides supply chain disruptions and labor shortages, Canada is experiencing a tech talent shortage. There are plenty of jobs on the market—over 200,000 on average—but only a handful of graduate talent to fill them. This has the potential to significantly impact Canadian’s country-wide in the coming years.

For example, one of the most concerning labour shortages in tech is within the cybersecurity discipline. The technological growth in the developing advanced manufacturing sector increases its risk and vulnerability to cybersecurity threats.

Work-Integrated-Learning programs expedite and excite interest in career fields like cybersecurity.

In fact, TECHNATION, in partnership with the Government of Canada, has run programs fully dedicated to demystifying careers in cybersecurity, while funding hundreds of cyber-related student work terms.

When Forbes interviewed eight entrepreneurs, they mentioned the fear of large expenses as a barrier to success. This, along with concerns about a drawn-out application process, are obstacles that employers say deter them from hiring students, however with Career Ready these concerns are misplaced.

We hear consistently from our employer partners that the process is far easier than they ever expected. Our subsidy (up to 70% of a student’s wages) can also be stacked with provincial subsidies— For example, Ontario businesses that hire students enrolled in a post-secondary co-operative education program are eligible for the tax credit. Thus, in ON, there’s a good chance you can get 100% of a co-op student’s salary covered.

And it’s easy too! Most businesses complete their application in just 15 minutes, and 99.5% of businesses are approved within 10 days of application. Take Nest Capital’s word for it, “You can tell a LOT of thought went into the user experience for employers. Basically, it’s the only program I’d recommend to other employers!”

Take a look at the testimonial video of how an AI related company was able to have their co-op students contribute to product development, consulting and market research using TECHNATION’s Career Ready Program and how you can too. If you’re ready to jump in, we have a ton of toolkits, videos, and guides to support you. Check out how easy it is to navigate our application process or get in touch with a Career Ready program coordinator.

One of TECHNATION’s primary goals is to remove the barriers many businesses, employers, and prospective students face—especially those within BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. Often marginalized, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx folk represent <5% of the total tech industry, with BIPOC women and non-binary folk representing only a sliver of that amount.

Tech startups and small-to-medium size businesses represent 90% of Career Ready employers, and a third of the students are women. There’s space for everyone at the table—and diverse perspectives, background, and skills make the industry stronger for all Canadians.

Career Ready does a lot of work to attract underrepresented groups to our events, such as career fairs and skills challenges. As an employer participating in these events, the connections you make with students can be strong encouragement to later apply for roles within your organization. Check out our recent promotional videos that are designed to encourage this visibility—both for the students looking for placements and for the employers looking to make use of the Career Ready Program. To cultivate a tech future for Canada with diverse voices and continuing supporting the growth of small and women business owners, reach out to us or start the application process today.

WETechAlliance is one of seventeen Regional Innovation Centres, funded by the Province of Ontario, serving the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions. We provide entrepreneurs with business services, training, perks, mentorship and strategic connections to help bring new ideas to market, scale to the next level and build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation. WETechAlliance has served as the catalyst for technology and innovation in the Windsor-Essex + Chatham-Kent regions since 2011.

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