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Oil and gas industry professionals who have been displaced mid-career can now apply to access no-cost training for in-demand tech jobs with the first cohort in the EDGE UP digital upskilling program, beginning in February 2020.

EDGE UP: Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project is part of an initiative from the Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) to test innovative approaches to skills development for mid-career workers. Calgary Economic Development leads the nearly $1.5 million collaborative project with partners the University of Calgary Continuing Education, SAIT, Bow Valley College, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) , and Riipen.

The two-year EDGE UP pilot program aims to help transition displaced oil and gas workers in Calgary to high-demand, high-growth digital technology opportunities.

“Our labour market forecasts a demand of 9,000 skilled digital workers in Alberta by 2023. The need for this talent is indicative of a burgeoning digital-based economy in the province that is poised to strengthen the industrial fabric of Alberta in the coming years,” said Namir Anani, President & CEO of ICTC. “The EDGE UP initiative to upskill and leverage all available talent streams will help pave the way for a strong foundation for Alberta’s digital future.”

EDGE UP targets professionals displaced as a result of the structural change in the oil and gas sector in recent years, such as engineers and geoscientists. A training pathway will be identified for each participant based on validated skills mapping data. Through EDGE UP, students will be trained in information technology project management, or data analytics, or full-stack/software development. 

Selected participants for the full-time training will be provided a course on transitioning to information and communication technology (ICT) work, tech skills development training and an industry project. All pathways will help participants build a track to employment and improve the integration for new employees in the ICT sector. 

Each of three cohort streams will accommodate 15 full-time participants.  The first cohorts begin in February and runs for six months.

The demand for tech talent to support digital transformation across all sectors is at an all-time high,” said Jeanette Sutherland Director of EDGE UP and Workforce & Productivity at Calgary Economic Development. With $18.4 billion forecast to be spent by industry on digital transformation forecasted over the next three years in Alberta, developing tech talent is crucial. EDGE UP will help Calgarians get back to work in good jobs."

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