An investment of $1.5 million from The Future Skills Centre has been given for EDGE UP, a project led by Calgary Economic Development and a consortium of partners

Mario ToneguzziA new initiative has been launched in Calgary to help high-skilled energy sector workers who have been displaced by the economic downturn get tech training.

An investment of $1.5 million from The Future Skills Centre has been given for EDGE UP, a project led by Calgary Economic Development and a consortium of partners.

EDGE UP stands for Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project.

“The work culture is changing and Calgarians need the hard and soft skills for the jobs that are in demand in the new economy,” said Mary Moran, president and chief executive officer for Calgary Economic Development. “We are pleased by the strong collaboration and unified front by all partners – including post-secondaries, industry experts, and the private sector – in supporting the community for the economic development of Calgary.”

Mary Moran
Mary Moran
President and CEO
Calgary Economic Development

Officials said the EDGE UP project involves a consortium of post-secondary institutions, government agencies and the private sector. It is led by Calgary Economic Development and includes University of Calgary Continuing Education, SAIT, Bow Valley College, ICTC Canada and Riipen.

The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences Futures is funded by the government of Canada’s Future Skills Program. The research centre is focused on how to best prepare Canadians today for workforce opportunities of the future. It’s a partnership between Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint.

Calgary Economic Development, in collaboration with the partners, will design, implement and evaluate the two-year program. The pilot project will develop a program will transition displaced workers into opportunities in high-growth technology fields, said officials in a news release, adding that the program will target the highly-educated workers displaced during the structural change in the energy sector in recent years, such as engineers and geoscientists.

EDGE UP will facilitate training for and placement in specific tech jobs including; data analysts, full stack developers, information technology project managers, business analysts and business development.

“Calgary is filled with highly-skilled workers, including engineers and geoscientists. As the economy transitions, these workers are often ideal candidates to meet the needs of the growing tech sector,” said Calgary Centre MP Kent Hehr. “As part of our government’s Future Skills Centre, the EDGE UP: Energy to Digital Growth Education and Upskilling Project will pilot a retraining program to prepare former energy sector workers to move into in-demand tech jobs.”

Calgary Economic Development said EDGE UP pilot project will be implemented in two phases over two years:

  1. Pilot design: It will consult with local employers to determine the most promising digital upskilling pathways; training institutions will develop the curriculum and participants will be selected.
  2. Pilot implementation: Six cohorts of displaced professionals will start training in areas including; workplace readiness, cultural and technical skills, and work-integrated learning.

Participants in the cohorts will be aligned with job opportunities upon completion.

© Calgary’s Business


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