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Empowering our Next Generation of Disruptors in Canada

Empowering our Next Generation of Disruptors in Canada
Rola Dagher, President of Cisco Canada, discusses the CanCode programs aimed at nurturing IT skills in indigenous communities and underserved regions.
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Empowering our Next Generation of Disruptors in Canada

Empowering our Next Generation of Disruptors in Canada

Rola Dagher
Cisco
President Cisco Canada

April 04, 2018
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Consider that for every three children who entered primary school for the first time in 2017, two started a journey leading to jobs that will likely not exist when they graduate college. Another startling statistic from the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)report is that there is a major skills gap in Canada, where we will need an estimated 220,000 skilled IT workers by 2020*.

These gaps are brought on by a new wave of technologies coming at us exponentially and are defining the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution. But it’s not all doom and gloom, this era is driving advancements across all different industries in Canada - creating new markets, fueling growth in GDP, providing us with insights on citizens and customers, and augmenting our human capabilities allowing us to achieve breakthrough research in medicine, engineering, and other fields. 

In order to reap all the benefits of this era while minimizing the negative implications, like the widening skills gap needed for the next era of work, we need forward-thinking partnerships. Today, at the Cisco Canada offices in Toronto, the Federal Government of Canada and TakingITGlobal launched two impactful programs under the CanCode initiative – Create to Learn and Code to Learn - that embody the best of a public and private collaboration aimed at empowering the next generation of innovators and disruptors while bridging the skills gap. 

Create to Learn garners problem-solving and critical thinking skills through the use of cutting-edge technologies to help empower and inspire underserved children in remote areas. Because to be impactful, it’s not only about being digitally fluent. It’s about using digital fluency to solve real life problems and innovate. The second programme - Code to Learn - is aimed at educating and empowering teachers across school boards to take coding and problem-solving skills learned and add to their school’s curriculum.  

These two programs – funded and supported by our collaborative, forward thinking Government – brings us one step closer to closing the skills gap that will train children and teachers to think creatively and differently through and about technology. 

On behalf of the employees of Cisco Canada, we thank the Federal Government of Canada and TakingITGlobal for their vision, leadership, and for paving the way. As we stand at the intersection between human progress and technology, it’s our responsibility as leaders to ensure we take advantage of the good from the 4thindustrial revolution while helping to ensure no one is left behind. 

Rola Dagher, President Cisco Canada

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