ST. JOHN'S, NL -
To cultivate homegrown talent and the growth of a diverse workforce in the technology and innovation industry, today the Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education, announced a partnership and pilot project that will bring Technology Career Pathway (TCP) programming to some provincial high schools starting in the 2021-22 school year.
This collaboration will develop new pathways, including academic opportunities, to support interested students to more easily transition from high school to Information Technology programs at College of the North Atlantic.
Premier Furey and Minister Osborne were joined by Goronwy Price, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) and Elizabeth Kidd, President and CEO of College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in announcing this partnership.
The first TCP program under this MOU will launch in the 2021-22 school year as a pilot in eight schools in the Avalon, Central, Western and Labrador regions of NLESD. Students participating in the program will start coursework in Grade 10 with the current high school computer science course, transitioning to post-secondary courses in Python programming in grades 11 and 12. Python is a widely used programming language in fields such as web development, data science and artificial intelligence.
Students completing the pilot program will receive a micro-credential from CNA indicating they have completed the Python TCP, as well as course credit at the post-secondary level. The program will also feature an experiential learning placement at a business in the province’s technology and innovation sector for at least six weeks.
TechNL estimates that the current capacity for software development graduates from all sources in the province meets only 10 to 15 per cent of the projected skill needs in the provincial technology and innovation industry. This pilot and future TCP programs will help narrow that skill gap while providing young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with early exposure to an industry with significant job prospects. Future TCP programs can focus on areas such as cyber security, infrastructure and web development.
“The partnership announced today will facilitate collaboration between K-12 and post-secondary education in developing programs that meet the needs and potential of our growing technology and innovation industry. It will further expose young people in this province to the many opportunities in our technology and innovation industry and, in turn, help build their future pathways to local employment.”
Honourable Andrew Furey
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“The Technology Career Pathways Program will give students hands-on experiences in technology and innovation, and, for those who wish to pursue a related diploma or degree after high school, a head start on their post-secondary studies. This partnership shows the commitment of our government, of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and CNA to embed digital learning throughout the education system, and to help prepare the workforce of the future for the careers of the future.”
Honourable Tom Osborne
Minister of Education
“The Board of Trustees has supported and promoted the expanded use of technology to support teaching and learning in our classrooms for many years.
We welcome this partnership, which will enhance opportunities available to high school students; prepare them for post-secondary studies in their areas of interest and, ultimately, for a career in the technology sector.”
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Newfoundland and Labrador English School District
“We are proud to participate in every opportunity for our province’s youth to have ways to enhance their learning experiences, and in this case, even before they enter our doors. We know that our future depends on a skilled and innovative workforce. We are pleased to collaborate to make that happen through initiatives like this one with Premier Furey’s government through the Department of Education, the NLESD, and technology leaders represented by TechNL.”
Elizabeth (Liz) Kidd
President and CEO, College of the North Atlantic
“The growth of the technology and innovation sector in our province has been tremendous. And recent news like the Verafin sale speak to how strong our companies are. But to continue this momentum, we need to develop the talent pipeline, and that starts in the K-12 system. Our members and techNL are excited to see the new course offerings in high school.”
Board Chair, Tech NL
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