TECHNOCompétences, in partnership with the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT) has unveiled its program for the Quebec component of National ICT Careers Week. The program runs throughout the month of October and will take two forms: classroom sessions and an interactive career show. Many dignitaries attended the launch, including the Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Line Beauchamp.
“This awareness-raising and educational campaign to promote ICT to young people and their parents will feature, among other things, practical, hands-on presentations that will demystify some of the lesser known jobs, and, above all, make ICT a sector of choice for our youth, thereby ensuring a quality workforce for the future of this strategic sector,” remarked Deputy Premier and Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Line Beauchamp.
“TECHNOCompétences is pleased to present this exciting program to young people and in so doing, support succession development in this promising sector. Since 2005, promoting ICT careers has been central to our priorities. This is the driving force of many of our initiatives, among them, the Ma Carrière TECHNO campaign, which we have carried out with our ICT industry partners,” said François Rainville, chair of the Board of TECHNOCompétences. “An important point to consider is that in Québec, over 184,000 people hold technology-related jobs. That means 4.3% of the labour force, and the numbers are steadily increasing. Another sign of technology’s omnipresence is that over 55% of ICT professionals work in economic sectors other than those specifically related to ICT, for instance, banking, retail, insurance and avionics. So, the next generation has to be ready to step in!”
Widely known as a technology buff, the reporter, blogger and media personality Dominic Arpin is the spokesperson for National ICT Careers Week. He is already looking forward to meeting young people and introducing them to the myriad of fascinating and creative careers in this sector. “Whether it’s in computing, multimedia, telecommunications or electronics, the choice is vast and this industry offers countless opportunities to pursue rewarding careers. More than ever before, young people have the chance to change the world in their own way. It’s up to them to take advantage of all the opportunities on offer!”
On October 27, teenagers between 14 and 17 can visit Go Techno, a careers show being held at the Montréal Science Centre from 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. During this interactive career day, young people can find out about the full range of ICT careers and talk with people in the sector. Instead of listening to abstract presentations, they will be treated to a down-to-earth experience through practical demonstrations by 30 exhibitors and animations. The show features six theme areas, reflecting the great diversity and cross-cutting nature of ICT careers: health/beauty, multimedia/entertainment, mobile communications, transportation/aerospace, security/business and environment/energy. Doors will be open until 8 p.m. for young people who want to come with their parents.
By registering at one of the interactive terminals and answering three questions related to each of the theme areas they have visited, young people can win one of eight iPod nanos. They will also have a chance to win the grand prize: taking a friend to watch the shooting of Vlog, a program hosted by Dominic Arpin!
During the month of October, over 40 workshops by ICT professionals will be offered to schools in greater Montréal that have registered in the program. Designed for students in grades 9-11, the aim of the workshops is to demystify ICT, with a presentation by an ICT professional, a discussion with the students and a question period.
To better promote ICT careers, the Ma Carriere Techno website features a new, more youth-oriented design, featuring many interactive functions. A section for teachers and parents has also been added. The site provides descriptions of more than 30 ICT careers, video clips by people in the field and an up-to-date directory of over 400 training programs grouped by administrative region.
“The lack of recent ICT graduates is a major concern and the competition is constantly intensifying among employers who want to recruit new talent,” said François Morin, president of the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills. “This is why we are pleased to be doing this event in Montréal and helping to promote the ICT sector to young people.”
According to Jean-Luc Trahan, president of the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, “the ICT sector in Québec is still expanding. It is definitely a promising sector with the potential to attract many young people with its promise of rewarding and diverse careers.” According to data compiled by TECHNOCompétences for the Québec region of Service Canada, over 7,500 vacancies per year are projected between and 2014.
National ICT Careers Week 2011 has been made possible thanks to the support of many partners, including TECHNOCompétences, the Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills, the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, the Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation, the Government of Ontario, Employment Ontario, the Government of Canada, TechnoMontréal and the founding members of Cool! Les Technos! Over 35 private partners from Québec and Canada have also contributed to this noteworthy project.