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The first two years of CanCode proved to be a huge success reaching over 1.3 million students and over 61,000 teachers, and still counting! We are pleased to announce that we are extending CanCode to build on that success.
This extension will see an additional $60 million over two years starting in 2019-20 to support opportunities for Canadian students (kindergarten to grade 12) to learn digital skills including coding, data analytics, and digital content development. It will also support initiatives that provide K-12 teachers with the training and professional development they need to introduce digital skills and coding related concepts into the classroom.
CanCode aims to equip Canadian youth, including traditionally underrepresented groups, with the skills they need to be prepared for further studies, including advanced digital skills and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses, leading to the jobs of the future. Canada's success in the digital economy depends on leveraging our diverse talent and providing opportunity for all to participate — investing in digital skills development will help to achieve this.
Why this is important
Innovation begins with skilled, talented and creative people. Canada is already home to one of the best educated workforces in the world, and in an increasingly competitive global economy, more needs to be done to ensure that Canadians can learn, adapt and have good jobs throughout their working lives. Budget 2017's Innovation and Skills Plan advances an agenda to build Canada as a world-leading innovation economy that will create good jobs and grow the middle class. One of the key pillars of this plan is skills and ensuring young Canadians get the skills and experience they need to kick-start their careers.
Digital skills, like coding and understanding how to use new technologies to solve real world problems have become increasingly vital across all sectors of the global economy. For example, learning to code at a young age helps to develop analytical thinking and fosters problem-solving techniques—skills that are important for further study in STEM fields and are becoming increasingly in-demand for the job market.
Digital technologies have changed both education and jobs in every sector and at every level, from the most entry-level job to the most sophisticated knowledge worker position. This is driving a need for all Canadians — students, educators, workers, and consumers — to be digitally savvy users and creators of digital technologies and digital content.
Providing youth with opportunities to learn broad digital skills, including coding, provides them with more than just learning how to create a game or design an app. Such experiences give youth the tools to solve everyday problems using digital technologies; teaches them how digital technologies use and process data and the impact technology has; and helps move youth from passive consumers of digital content to active creators of digital technology and content.
Supporting digital skills and coding in the K-12 student population is critical to introducing Canadian youth to the concepts needed to encourage post-secondary enrolment in STEM fields, while developing the skills that match future workforce demands enabling them to seize opportunities emerging due to the rapidly evolving digital economy.
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