Digital Nova Scotia and Bluedrop Performance Learning through its subsidiary Bluedrop Learning Networks Inc. officially announce the launch of their joint “Skills for Hire” program. Dedicated to understanding and addressing the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector skills gap, the project will develop an online blended ICT skills program and carve out career pathways for recent graduates, incumbent workers, as well as unemployed and under-served populations. Spanning the province of Nova Scotia and expanding into Newfoundland and Labrador, the project has received $2,496,082 in federal funding from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to deliver the project over three years.

Digital Nova Scotia brings a long-standing history of deep connections and relationships within the ICT and digital technology industries, community organizations, government, post-secondary institutions and over 130 member companies both locally and nationally. Bluedrop, is an innovator in both the development of workplace e-learning and simulation as well as the way large organizations deliver, track and manage training.

As the ICT Industry in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador continues to experience unprecedented growth, as does the demand for talent. The two organizations have joined expertise with the goal of building a skilled workforce to meet the need for digital skills in entry level ICT positions.

By working in partnership with local employers to understand their entry level ICT resource requirements, the Skills for Hire program will be responsive to these needs and provide program participants with different training paths, to match their interests. Bluedrop will provide the system to manage program applications, develop and provide the online training for the different training paths and host them on their learning management system, Bluedrop360.

Quotes:
“Addressing the ICT skills gap requires bold ideas and a multi-faeted approach – it is encouraging to have ESDC invest in research initiatives such as Skills for Hire and I am confident that the program’s success will benefit our ICT sector.” Emad Rizkalla, Founder and CEO, Bluedrop Performance Learning.

“The exponential growth of the ICT sector and its fast-paced global impact, continue to be a significant differentiator for our industry, country and province. In Nova Scotia, we are fortunate to have a magnitude of innovative and forward-thinking post-secondary institutions. This program is designed to complement their commendable efforts and support the skills gap, while allowing participants to build sustainable, life-changing and rewarding careers here at home. It will also enable us to upskill our workforce with technical and non-technical skills to meet the rapidly rising demand for talent, and have a deep impact on our industry. Digital Nova Scotia is proud and honoured to partner with ESDC and Bluedrop on this important, innovative and strategic project.” Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, President & CEO, Digital Nova Scotia.

“Our support for the Skills for Hire project will give Canadians in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, including Indigenous people, women, youth and newcomers, the skills they need to fill in-demand jobs in the local IT sector. A Canadian workforce that incorporates new technology and adapts is key to Canada’s long-term economic prosperity and middle-class growth.” The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

This news release may contain “forward-looking information” as defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation. All statements, other than statements of historical fact included in this release, constitute forward-looking information that involve various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information is based on a number of factors and assumptions which have been used to develop such information but which may prove to be incorrect, including, but not limited to, assumptions in connection with the operational efficiencies associated with the integration of technological and financial systems and general economic and market conditions. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking information.

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Bluedrop’s expectations include general global economic conditions. For additional information with respect to risk factors applicable to Bluedrop, reference should be made to Bluedrop’s continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with securities regulators, including, but not limited to, Bluedrop’s Annual Information Form and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition for the year ended September 30, 2017. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date of this release and Bluedrop does not undertake to update publicly or revise the forward-looking information contained in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Digital Nova Scotia:
DNS is the industry association for Nova Scotia’s $2.5 billion ICT and digital technologies sector. Programs, events, and partnerships enable DNS to connect the digital community and promote its successes. Through skills development, capacity building, industry events, collaboration and the promotion of IT opportunities, DNS supports our sector as it continues to grow, evolve and thrive. As a membership-driven organization, DNS engages with all stakeholders from startups and SME’s to large multinational corporations, universities and colleges, government, and non-profits.

About Bluedrop:
Bluedrop is a high growth, innovative firm headquartered in St. John’s, with an operating office in Halifax. The company currently employs 180 individuals, with over 90 per cent of employees located in Atlantic Canada. Publically traded under TSX-V: BPL, Bluedrop Performance Learning is an innovator in both the development of workplace e-learning and simulation as well as the way large organizations deliver, track and manage training. Its clients include a variety of government and commercial customers, serving 250,000 users in over 100 countries across the globe.

Media Contact:
Caitlin Patterson, Director of Marketing & Communications, Digital Nova Scotia
caitlin@digitalnovascotia.com | 902-401-6699

Bernie Beckett, Chief Financial Officer, Bluedrop Performance Learning Inc.       
berniebeckett@bluedrop.com | 709-739-4938