Canada has launched a CAD$50 million (US$37 million) education program designed to train schoolchildren in the technology skills they need for the jobs of the future.
Students from kindergarten through to high school will soon start learning computer coding and other digital skills in the CanCode program, which will likely benefit 500,000 students over the next two years, according to a statement from the federal government.
As part of the program, about 500 teachers will also be equipped with tools to teach digital skills and coding.
“Many jobs today rely on the ability of Canadian workers to solve problems using digital skills, whether they sell music online or design self-driving cars,” the government stated.
The program also aims to encourage more young women, indigenous Canadians, and other under-represented groups to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Funds will be distributed among Canadian not-for-profit organizations that have a minimum of three years’ experience delivering education-related programs to young Canadians and teachers.
“Coding teaches our young people how to work as a team to solve difficult problems in creative ways. That’s how they will become the next great innovators and entrepreneurs that Canada needs to succeed,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister for Science & Economic Development.
This is one of three major initiatives that the Canadian government has launched to encourage innovation and the development of tech skills. In March, it earmarked $950 million (US$714 million) for establishing clusters in sectors like artificial intelligence and cleantech.
The government has also eased its immigration laws to welcome highly skilled talent from abroad.