Canada Learning Code and BrainStation to upskill 800 workers with a $10.8M investment through Upskill Canada, powered by Palette Skills

Upskill Canada, powered by Palette Skills, announced its partnership with Canada Learning Code in November 2023. In just a few weeks, the program is actively running. 

Innovative training platform funded by the Government of Canada’s Upskilling for Industry Initiative. 

PETERBOROUGH, January 19, 2024 – Supported by $10.8M in funding, Canada Learning Code and their partner, Peterborough success story BrainStation, will provide training to upskill 800 Canadians through a new upskilling initiative called Code to Career. This 12-week software engineering bootcamp works to equip graduates with job-ready technical and professional skills as well as the networks necessary for success. Built to address talent shortfalls in the Canadian economy, this program also provides a support-based pathway for underrepresented groups seeking meaningful, equitable employment in the tech industry.  

“While the Canadian economy remains strong, some of our fastest growing industries are facing qualified worker shortages that impact their continued growth. Our government believes that women represent one of our most underutilized economic strengths, particularly in areas where systemic barriers make their participation more difficult,” said The Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “That is why, with funding from the Upskilling for Industry Initiative, Palette Skills is providing this $10.8 million funding, to help over 800 Canadian women develop the skills and guidance they need to thrive in our fastest growing, most dynamic new technological industries.”

Canada Learning Code was selected as a delivery partner for this program through a competitive process led by Upskill Canada in late 2023. The funding for this initiative has been delivered through Upskill Canada powered by Palette Skills – the lead organization responsible for delivering the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) Upskilling for Industry Initiative. Since its inception, this initiative is helping hundreds of workers find new careers through skills training and job placement in some of Canada’s fastest-growing industries. 

“Thanks to the support of the Canadian government and the team at ISED, Palette Skills is working to reverse the underutilization of the Canadian workforce by upskilling workers to unlock their full potential and move them into new – and better – jobs,” said Rhonda Barnet, CEO of Palette Skills. “Our partnerships with organizations like Canada Learning Code and their partner BrainStation are one of the ways in which we are attacking underutilization head-on and preparing workers for the economy of tomorrow.”

The funding for Canada Learning Code was profiled at a fireside chat held earlier today in Peterborough, Ontario where Palette Skills CEO, Rhonda Barnet, spoke on the challenges and opportunities facing women in business alongside the Hon. Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board of Canada.  

“The Code to Career initiative is not only about filling skill gaps in underrepresented sectors, but is a resolute step towards fostering diversity and empowering women in the tech industry,” said The Honourable Anita Anand, President of The Treasury Board of Canada. “By working with partners like Canada Learning Code and Palette Skills, our government is supporting a workforce that reflects Canada’s diversity and the limitless possibilities that occur when everyone has an opportunity to succeed.”

Upskill Canada, powered by Palette Skills, announced its partnership with Canada Learning Code in November 2023. In just a few weeks, the program is actively running.  

“Code to Career’s first two cohorts were made up of 87 per cent of learners who self-identified as women or non-binary, marking a significant step towards fostering more women in leadership roles within the tech industry,” said Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO of Canada Learning Code. “Through Code to Career, we are not only delivering essential tech training but also paving the way for women to ascend to leadership positions. The collaboration between BrainStation, Canada Learning Code and Upskill Canada demonstrates the impact that’s possible when industry leaders come together to create positive change.”

To learn more, visit https://paletteskills.org/upskillcanadaprograms

About Upskill Canada

Upskill Canada is a national talent platform that helps fast-growing companies access the talent they need to compete and succeed globally, while creating new career pathways for workers to rapidly transition into high-demand roles. Upskill Canada will target all regions of the country and support Canadian-based employers, with a particular focus on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It will focus on strengthening key growth sectors, including digital technology, cybersecurity, agricultural technology, advanced manufacturing, clean technology and biomanufacturing.

About Palette Skills

Palette Skills is a national nonprofit whose purpose is to help Canada’s most innovative companies access untapped talent through industry-led rapid upskilling programs. Powered by a consortium of national business associations, leading academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations, Palette works to catalyze a network of partners to adopt new best practices in industry-led upskilling approaches. Palette Skills is hosted at the University of Toronto. 

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:

Alexandra Yallouz
Senior Advisor, Communications and Public Relations
Palette Skills

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