Fredericton-based company PLATO Testing has announced plans to bring its program to Victoria this fall, where it hopes to help members of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in the area train and gain employment as software testers.
This will be the first time PLATO’s program has been offered to Indigenous peoples living in Victoria and the surrounding areas. The move, which comes in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia (BC), Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), and Deloitte Canada, follows PLATO’s delivery of its program in other cities across the country.
This will be the first time PLATO Testing’s program has been offered to Indigenous peoples living in Victoria and the surrounding areas.
“What we’ve learned over the 15 classes we’ve run is that each class and each community has different needs to ensure success,” said Keith McIntosh, PLATO’s founder. “The partnership we have formed with our friends at MNBC, Deloitte Canada, and the Government of BC ensures the three elements that each class needs: a robust recruitment effort that identifies the best candidates, the support of corporate Canadian leaders dedicated to reconciliation, and meaningful training opportunities followed by ongoing software testing work.”
Founded in 2015, PLATO describes itself as “the country’s only Indigenous-led and staffed IT services firm.” The company aims to build a network of 1,000 Indigenous software testers across Canada. PLATO’s program has trained over 150 Indigenous software testers to date, many of whom still work for the company in and around their home communities.
The company plans to launch its Victoria course in November. With the help of MNBC, PLATO has launched a recruitment campaign seeking potential candidates. Applications to the program are currently open to Indigenous applicants with a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent experience. PLATO provides all equipment necessary to complete the course, including laptops.
PLATO’s program deploys a “train-and-employ” model. Indigenous students who participate in the company’s Victoria course will take part in five months of in-class software testing training, followed by a three-month internship with the Government of British Columbia, whereby they will gain hands-on experience providing tech services to various provincial departments, with the support of Deloitte Canada. Course graduates will be guaranteed a full-time job with PLATO.
PLATO currently employs 50 full-time Indigenous software testers, and has offices in or near Indigenous communities across the country in Fredericton, Miramichi, Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. The company is also currently accepting applications for its 2022 Vancouver training program.
Image courtesy of PLATO Testing