Canadian gov’t dedicating $50 million to coding programs for youth

kids in stem

Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced the launch of CanCode, a $50 million program dedicated to helping young Canadians learn digital and coding skills.

Through CanCode, the Government of Canada will provide funding to Canadian not-for-profit organizations that have a minimum of three years of experience delivering education-related programs to young Canadians and teachers.

The Government of Canada said that over the next two years, CanCode will give 500,000 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 the chance to learn “in-demand skills that will prepare them for future jobs.” It will also provide 500 teachers across Canada with the necessary training and tools to teach digital skills and coding.

“Coding teaches our young people how to work as a team to solve difficult problems in creative ways.”
– Navdeep Bains

“Our government is investing in a program that will equip young Canadians with the skills they need for a future in which every job will require some level of digital ability,” said Bains. “Coding teaches our young people how to work as a team to solve difficult problems in creative ways. That’s how they will become the next great innovators and entrepreneurs that Canada needs to succeed.”

The government also said the program is meant to encourage more women, Indigenous Canadians, and other under-represented groups to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

“Coding skills are highly relevant in today’s scientific and technological careers, and they will only become more important in the future,” said Duncan. “That’s why it is essential that we teach these skills to young Canadians today so they have an advantage when they choose to pursue a career as a scientist, researcher or engineer. Our government is proud to support their curiosity, their ambition and their desire to build a bolder, brighter future for all Canadians.”

The launch of CanCode is among several initiatives the Canadian government has launched to encourage innovation and the development of tech skills. In March, Budget 2017 revealed that the government would dedicate $950 million towards establishing ‘superclusters,’ in sectors like artificial intelligence and cleantech.

This week, the Canadian government also officially launched Canada’s fast-track visa, which promises a process time of 10 days to two weeks for high-skills talent looking to come to Canada.

Organizations interested in receiving project funding through CanCode have until July 26 to apply.

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.