Startland is a revolutionary cross-sector partnership to connect immigrants and refugees with the equipment and training they need to find jobs in technology. Founded by Living Labs at Emily Carr, Version One Ventures and Wantoo, in partnership with Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISS of BC).
In the past year, we have seen the largest refugee relocation effort in British Columbia’s history, as millions of people globally are displaced by war in the Middle East. More and more we are connected by technology and global culture. Many of the new arrivals are highly skilled. Others are young and just starting out. 5 years ago they may have been working in IT in Aleppo, or dreaming of working for Facebook.
At the same time, the technology sector in British Columbia is facing a critical skills shortage. Companies can’t hire developers fast enough. The province of BC estimates that 2 million new programmers will be needed to fill jobs in the province within the decade. Code bootcamps are popping up all over the country, offering intensive full-time code programs that can train you to become a junior developer in 12 weeks. But the programs are expensive.
In 2017 we want to give computers to 24 people and place them in free full-time bootcamp programs at leading Vancouver-based Code Academies. In 12 weeks, they will graduate and be ready for employment as junior developers. We see this as a way to create a win-win situation for individual refugees and immigrants, and for BC overall.
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