Al­berta’s next steps to fuel tech-sec­tor growth

The McLeod River Post - - Education Matters -

Stu­dents will have ac­cess to the skills and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties needed to suc­ceed in a grow­ing Al­berta tech-based econ­omy with the pass­ing of the Growth and Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Act.

Through the act, gov­ern­ment will launch pro­grams de­signed to di­ver­sify and grow the prov­ince’s econ­omy, in­clud­ing 3,000 new spa­ces for tech­nol­ogy pro­grams in Al­berta’s col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties with a $50-mil­lion, five-year in­vest­ment.

“It’s im­por­tant that we pre­pare Al­ber­tans for suc­cess in a new and di­ver­si­fied econ­omy. We’re in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing pro­grams to build a strong, skilled and adapt­able work­force that will sup­port eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and com­pet­i­tive­ness in the prov­ince’s bur­geon­ing tech sec­tor.”

Mar­lin Sch­midt, Min­is­ter of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion

The prov­ince will launch an open re­cruit­ing process for 14 mem­bers to form the Tal­ent Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Tech­nol­ogy ( TACT). The coun­cil – a mix of lead­ers from the tech in­dus­try and post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions, along with stu­dent and labour rep­re­sen­ta­tives – will share ideas, help in­form pol­icy de­ci­sions and iden­tify the cur­rent and fu­ture skills needed to sup­port Al­berta’s tech econ­omy.

Co- chaired by in­dus­try and gov­ern­ment, TACT will be a vi­tal con­nec­tion be­tween tech­nol­ogy, tal­ent and to­day’s eco­nomic needs. The coun­cil is ex­pected to hold its first meet­ing later this sum­mer.

By this fall, 200 new tech learn­ing spa­ces will be al­lo­cated at post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions in Al­berta. Gov­ern­ment is work­ing with the prov­ince’s post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions to de­ter­mine the al­lo­ca­tion of the ini­tial 200 spa­ces so that stu­dents can be­gin classes for the up­com­ing aca­demic year. To sup­ple­ment the 200 tech train­ing spa­ces, short-terms skills pro­grams, last­ing three to 12 weeks, will be de­vel­oped to help Al­ber­tans quickly en­ter the tech work­force. “We know that the econ­omy in Al­berta is trans­form­ing rapidly. That’s why we are cre­at­ing ini­tia­tives that will help strengthen Al­berta’s tech sec­tor and will sup­port the con­tin­ued eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion that is un­der­way. We have the tal­ent, train­ing pro­grams and the in­vest­ment cli­mate needed to push Al­berta’s econ­omy boldly into the fu­ture.”

Deron Bilous, Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and Trade

In ad­di­tion to ex­pand­ing tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams, the act will help Al­berta dig­i­tal me­dia com­pa­nies re­cruit and re­tain more home­grown tal­ent with the new In­ter­ac­tive Dig­i­tal Me­dia Tax Credit. This credit pro­vides el­i­gi­ble com­pa­nies with a 25 per cent re­fund­able tax credit on el­i­gi­ble salaries and wages, and cre­ates in­cen­tives for com­pa­nies that hire em­ploy­ees from un­der­rep­re­sented groups. The ex­ist­ing Al­berta In­vestor Tax Credit and Cap­i­tal In­vest­ment Tax Credit are be­ing main­tained to spur con­tin­ued eco­nomic growth in the sec­tor.

The Growth and Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Act is part of the gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment to cre­ate an econ­omy built to last, and is an ex­am­ple of how the prov­ince is pre­par­ing Al­ber­tans for a di­ver­si­fied and tech-savvy eco­nomic fu­ture. Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tives sup­port­ing tech­sec­tor growth, in­clud­ing the

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