Engaging speakers, talent showcases, and big announcements sum up the inaugural BC Tech Summit that wrapped up on Tuesday. The first edition of this conference was well-attended, drawing in over 2,800 business leaders, investors, tech employees, academics, and students to Vancouver for two days.
BC Government Committing to Long-Term Development of Tech Sector
Premier Christy Clark kicked off the summit on Monday with some details regarding the multiyear BC Tech Strategy that the government introduced in December. Besides the $100M tech fund that will invest in entrepreneurs and young startups, the strategy is set to also focus on growing the local talent pool and increasing the accessibility to new markets.
Perhaps the biggest announcement is the change to the BC curriculum that will teach the province’s 600,000 students in K-12 how to code and other fundamental tech skills. This change will be implemented in September at the start of the new school year. Coding academies and classes will be available, providing students with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the sector. For post-secondary students, an emphasis on training for in-demand tech jobs and increased access to co-op opportunities has been promised.
These changes are a testament to the current government’s support of and belief in the tech sector. Making a policy change, such as the one to the educational curriculum, that won’t see returns for another dozen years in the workforce is quite unusual and courageous for a government. This speaks volumes to the quality of leadership. The long-term goals of the ambitious plan put forward are geared towards providing benefits for generations to come, giving the province and the future economy what should be an invaluable boost.
Encouraging Tech Through Education
The decision to introduce our youth to the possibilities that the tech sector offers is an important one. By fostering this interest and skill in children, we can ensure that future generations in the province have an advantage in the growing knowledge economy. This shift in policy when it comes to education is in anticipation of a sustainable tech sector and capitalizes on its potential in creating a flourishing economy.
Alacrity is enthusiastic about this announcement and applauds the foresight of the BC Government in making this critical change. As an active organization in this sector, we believe that fostering talent here at home is an important step to creating an evergreen, thriving tech ecosystem. The additional investment and initiatives to access more markets are also significant steps forward. We look forward to seeing the effects of the proposed BC Tech Strategy over the coming months and years.