The Innovator Skills Initiative provides B.C. companies with grants of up to $10,000 to hire people for technology and technology-enabled jobs.

The Innovator Skills Initiative provides B.C. companies with grants of up to $10,000 to hire people for technology and technology-enabled jobs.

B.C. businesses can get up to $10,000 per employee by providing jobs for underrepresented people

B.C. companies that are hiring for a tech position can get up to $10,000 through Innovate BC’s Innovator Skills Initiative.

Applications recently opened for the Innovator Skills Initiative. The initiative helps underrepresented people get their first job in B.C.’s technology sector and supports companies facing skill shortages.

The grant is not new, but the Innovator Skills Initiative has been redesigned and expanded to provide employers with quicker access to larger grants to hire workers who are students or who already have industry-recognized credentials. It has also been redesigned to make the program more inclusive by prioritizing placements for people who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and historically underrepresented in the technology sector. Preference is given to employers hiring candidates who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, people of colour, women, 2SLGBTQQIA+, persons living with a disability and many other equity-seeking people.

“We are building an economy that works for everyone – one that is sustainable, innovative and inclusive of all British Columbians. When COVID-19 swept the province, hardships fell disproportionately on many including Indigenous, Black, People of Colour, youth, women and gender diverse people, 2SLGBTQQIA+ and people from marginalized communities,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “At the same time, many B.C. companies are growing and need help filling in-demand technology roles. This program will help clear pathways for skilled, underrepresented people who deserve meaningful, long-term employment that helps them support their families.”

“Technology is needed for most companies to expand and reach new markets. The Innovator Skills Initiative can help B.C. businesses hire the technology workers they need to move forward,” says Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO of Innovate BC. “The program also gives participants valuable, paid experience that can lead to a long-term job within the same company or open a door to another job opportunity.”

The Innovator Skills Initiative will help support economic growth by placing thousands of people in technology focused jobs and helping businesses expand. It will serve as a critical building block as we develop B.C.’s economic plan that will help us build a more innovative, sustainable, and inclusive future.

Applications are open until spring 2022 or until the funds are disbursed.