Lighthouse Labs partners with the Government of Ontario to Reskill 250 Eligible Underemployed and/or Unemployed Ontarians

Lighthouse Labs is spearheading an initiative geared towards reskilling unemployed and underemployed Ontario residents. A similar pilot was conducted last year, which was focused solely on newcomer women in Ontario, and as a result of the success of that program this new iteration of the program is now open to a broader audience of Ontarians. This program was launched in partnership with Achēv, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre, YMCA GTA, and CATA Alliance with funding from Skills Advance Ontario.

The OWN (Ontario WebDevelopers Network) Initiative aims to provide 250 eligible Ontarians with the skills needed to succeed in a digital workforce. With the help of over 500 employers, the goal is to help 90% of participants find employment in Ontario’s digital economy within 180 days of program completion.

Why is Lighthouse Labs Leading the OWN Initiative?

Ontario WebDevelopers Network Full Scholarship for Bootcamp The OWN Initiative is a made-in-Ontario solution spearheaded by Lighthouse Labs to the employment and skills barriers experienced by unemployed, underemployed and precariously employed Ontarians. The initiative addresses skills and labour market access barriers for both eligible Ontarians and the employers who hire them.

“The skills that newcomers bring to Ontario play a crucial role in driving our economy forward,” said Minister McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Our job is to connect the dots and ensure newcomers have the support they need to pursue the in-demand and fulfilling careers available in their new home and provide for their families. These training investments will go a long way to strengthening our economy and local communities."

“The pandemic has accelerated the future of work, and now more than ever, having technical skills is essential to entering the workforce,” said CEO and Founder of Lighthouse Labs Jeremy Shaki. “Ontario is home to some of the world’s most prominent tech hubs. Opportunities like the OWN Initiative will not only give participants the skills required to be part of this booming industry but will help strengthen and rebuild our economy.”

ICTC’s 2022 Outlook Report notes that there’s been an increased demand for digital services and the COVID-19 crisis has actually led to an increase in the digital economy’s share of total employment. Between February and June 2020, employment in the Canadian digital economy jumped from 10% to 11% of total employment. Because of this resilience and expected growth in influence, ICTC forecasts that employment in the digital economy will continue to grow to over 2 million by the end of 2022.

Is the program still focusing on newcomer women specifically?

The program is now open for all unemployed and underemployed Ontarian residents to apply. That said, women in Canada 15 years or older represented 47%, nearly half, of the labor force. That’s a 25% increase since 1976. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to derail these gains. According to Catalyst, during the first two months of the pandemic, only 55% of women participated in Canada’s labour force, dropping from 61% just two months before. Women are more likely than men to fall out of the workforce as a result of the pandemic.

Additionally, Rowan O’Grady, president of professional recruitment firm Hays Canada, says that people new to the country with any level of experience will find it more difficult to land a job in the tech sector. It’s not necessarily that there is a shortage of skilled laborers in the Ontario region, but that these jobs require rigorous qualifications. The OWN Initiative aims to make it feel more possible to get these jobs with the support of major players in the tech sector.

It’s important to nurture women in the tech workforce. There are job opportunities, but it is often difficult for newcomer women especially to find the time, funding, and support to upskill into these positions.

What are the eligibility requirements?

The OWN initiative is open to those who meet the following requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Holds PR, Refugee status or Canadian Citizenship (no study or work permit holders)
  • Resident of Ontario
  • Individuals who are unemployed, precariously employed, or employed with low household income
  • Individuals who are not participating in full-time training, education
  • CLB 6 / IELTS 5.5 / TOEFL 46-59 and over
  • Interested in pursuing a career in IT

How does the OWN Initiative work?

As a part of the initiative, 250 eligible candidates are receiving technical training through a full scholarship for a Lighthouse Labs Web Development Bootcamp, as well as up to 60 hours of pre-employment skills training. After they complete the program, participants will receive an industry-recognized web development diploma from Lighthouse Labs as well as employer matching services. They will be connected with employers in Full Stack Development, the most in-demand occupation in Ontario.

Participants are enrolling in the following Lighthouse Labs bootcamp program on a full scholarship:

Participants are learning full-stack web development including:

  • JavaScript and Node.js
  • ReactJS
  • Databases and data modeling
  • HTML and CSS
  • Software architecture
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Testing
  • Computer science fundamentals

Select participants are also receiving support from business leaders and gain employment, retention, and career advancement skills.

How do I apply?

Applicants are being enrolled for monthly cohorts from now until November 2021, and classes are filling fast. Register Now for a Free Information Session to get started. The initiative will run until March 29, 2022, with the goal of providing 250 eligible Ontarians the skills to succeed in a digital workforce.

About Lighthouse Labs

Lighthouse Labs was launched in 2013 with the goal of finding innovative ways to train the next generation of tech talent. In an age of technological disruption across every industry, our mission is to give Canadians the skills they need to find long-lasting careers in a digital workforce.

Eight years later, we’ve delivered hands-on tech education to over 30,000 Canadians, equipping them with the relevant tools to thrive in the future of work. With the support of a brilliant team of instructors and mentors, we continue to empower students, launch careers, and contribute to the incredible growth of Canada’s tech industry.