Launching job-seekers 31+ into tech careers with the Walmart Foundation and TD Bank Group

Launching mid-career job-seekers into tech careers thanks to the Walmart Foundation and TD Bank Group

Workplaces have steadily been adopting new technologies year by year, but the pandemic accelerated digitization and catapulted society into a new virtual era. With increased automation and ongoing closures due to COVID-19 came a reshaping of Canada’s workforce to virtual and hybrid environments, essentially making every company a tech company and greatly increasing the demand for tech talent.

With the tech skills needed in the post-pandemic era extending far beyond basic digital literacy, we have been left with a skills gap in Canada. According to a Salesforce report, only 40% of individuals between the ages of 25 – 40 feel prepared with workplace digital skills. demonstrating the need for mid-career workers to upskill their tech knowledge to better meet the demands of the market.

In February 2022, NPower Canada was proud to revamp our mission statement, as we realized the great demand from more mature job-seekers to be able to participate in our programs. As a response to the increasing demand of job-seekers of all ages to reskill, and a growing number of tech roles available in Canada, we expanded our age eligibility to allow all job-seekers 18+ to enroll in our programs. Our ability to expand was thanks in part to generous support from the Walmart Foundation and TD Bank Group, who recognize the need for individuals of all ages to upskill and equip themselves with tech knowledge to be competitive in the market.

TD has been a champion of NPower Canada since the non-profit’s inception in 2014. TD has generously provided NPower Canada with multi-year funding along with continuous senior representation on its Board of Directors and Industry Council. In March 2020, TD Bank Group announced a donation of $325,000 to NPower Canada, focused on supporting lower-income adults ages 31+ to gain the digital skills necessary to launch their careers in Canada’s booming tech industry. Through collaboration with the TD Ready Commitment to expand upon its pilot reskilling and job placement programs for adults of all ages, including displaced mid-career workers, NPower Canada aims not only to reduce poverty and strengthen employment outcomes for vulnerable Canadians, but in doing so, to provide industry experts like TD with a growing pipeline of tech-enabled talent for in-demand roles.

To date, TD has hired 100+ NPower Canada graduates for a diverse roster of junior-level, tech-enabled roles including Business Analyst, Customer Advice Specialist, Customer Experience Associate and Data Analyst.

In February 2022, the Walmart Foundation provided NPower Canada with $500,000 (USD) to support our efforts to empower mid-career job seekers to obtain in-demand employment in Canada’s rapidly growing technology sector. Via our hub-and-spoke scaling model supported by the Walmart Foundation, NPower Canada has been able to leverage the success of its pivot to virtual learning and provide skills training and bring job opportunities to job seekers ages 31 and over, with a focus on Black and Indigenous Canadians, across Canada in regions previously excluded from the digital economy.

“Empowering job-seekers to gain in-demand skills and certifications is key to our commitment to help create equitable advancement and paths of opportunity for Black and Indigenous Canadians,” said Shannon Rowan, Senior Manager, Opportunity, at the Walmart Foundation. “We are excited to see the progress NPower Canada is making by expanding the age eligibility for its tech training programs to include mid-career workers.”

Our support from the Walmart Foundation and TD Bank Group have enabled us to accept more mature learners into our tech training programs, like Yasmin, Sayef and Fatemeh.

Yasmin worked in the IT industry 14 years ago, but when she found out she was pregnant with quadruplets, she put her career on hold to take care of her family. When she was ready/had to return to the workforce in 2020, she found out about NPower Canada, but at that time, our programs were focused on un- and underemployed youth. As luck would have it, around the same time, NPower Canada updated our mission statement and eligibility requirements. “The program gave me the chance to learn, to follow my passion, and to work towards achieving my dreams,” Yasmin shared.

Sayef was worried it was too late for him to start a new career in tech, but was looking for a more stable and rewarding career. “ I came from retail, but I was looking for something more challenging and more rewarding, where I was valued for my experience and my skills,” Sayef shared. Despite his fears, he applied to our workforce development program, and quickly became one the strongest participants in the cohort.

Fatemeh arrived in Canada in 2021, looking to start a new career. Yet, without Canadian work experience, Fatemeh was unable to find meaningful employment. That’s when she turned to NPower Canada, after learning that our programs were now available to all job-seekers 18+. She knew there was high demand for tech talent in Canada, and was drawn to the fact that she could “learn so much information in a short amount of time.”

Thanks to our generous funders like the Walmart Foundation and TD Bank Group, NPower Canada has been able to support nearly 850 mid-career job-seekers thus far, and help them achieve their career goals in Canada’s fast-growing digital economy. Weare committed to seeing that number increase. We have been thrilled to help job-seekers like Yasmin, Sayef, and Fatemeh, who were all looking for a meaningful and sustainable opportunity later in life to help them achieve their career goals, thanks to our collaboration with the Walmart Foundation and TD Bank Group.