Skills For Hire is a digital skills and career building training program designed to help fill the need for qualified entry-level talent in the tech sector in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. The program has been developed through a partnership between Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) and Bluedrop Learning Networks (BLN), and is funded by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program. Skills For Hire is now accepting applications for a limited pilot roll-out that will cover skills in web design and development, job search success and workplace productivity.

Pilot Program Details & Eligibility

The pilot program is accepting a maximum of 30 participants and begins with a virtual group orientation session on June 1 at 12pm (Atlantic). From there, the program is self-paced through a designated curriculum in web design and development and career building skills. After the pilot program, Skills For Hire will be rolled out on a wider scale in both provinces, with improvements made based on feedback from the first round of participants.

The program offers two distinct learning paths: Core Skills and Level-Up. The Core Skills path will lay the foundation for an entry-level career in web design, covering HTML, CSS & JavaScript. Participants who have already mastered these essential skills can expand their knowledge by selecting courses from the Level-Up learning path to launch a career in web development. Learners in both paths will complete the career building courses to improve their job search and workplace productivity skills. Individuals who are interested in completing both learning paths are encouraged to apply and complete Core Skills first, and then apply to the Level-Up path in the next round of the program in August.

Skills For Hire is offered at no cost to learners who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Residents of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador
  • At least 18 years old
  • Hold a high school diploma or a GED
  • Are interested in a future career in web design and development

Apply Today

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Core Skills Learning Path

While there are many platforms that allow users to create basic websites with drag-and-drop templates, employers expect professional web developers to be fluent in coding languages so that they can create custom-built websites and web-based applications. The first step to launching a career in web design and development is learning the basic coding languages that tell a browser what to display on a user’s screen. The Core Skills learning path teaches students HTML, CSS and JavaScript, starting with beginner courses and working into advanced concepts.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the default file format for web documents. This coding language allows you to add information and different types of content to a website. The Core Skills learning path contains beginner, intermediate and advanced courses in HTML.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) tell web browsers how to display fonts, colours, shapes and even animations. This coding language allows you to style the elements you’ve added to your website with HTML. The Core Skills learning path contains beginner, intermediate and advanced courses in CSS.

JavaScript is the most widely-deployed programming language in the world. This language will allow you to write front-end client-side code, back-end code for servers, and even develop games. The Core Skills learning path contains beginner, intermediate and advanced courses in JavaScript.

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Level Up Learning Path

The Level-Up learning path will allow participants with an existing foundation in web design and development to add high-demand programming skills to their qualifications. We recommend advanced-level knowledge level of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, which are all covered in the Core Skill path, before attempting to learn additional skills from the Level-Up catalogue.

jQuery is a fast and feature-rich JavaScript library that simplifies programming. It makes things like HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax much simpler with an easy-to-use API that works across multiple browsers.

PHP is a widely-used and powerful open source scripting language. Files can contain text, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP code. PHP code is executed on the server, and the result is returned to the browser as plain HTML. PHP runs on various platforms and is compatible with almost all servers.

Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that uses a non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight, efficient and very popular among JavaScript developers who also need to write server-side code. Node.js delivers fast, scalable and reliable solutions.

SQL is the standard language for relational database management systems. SQL statements are used to perform tasks such as update data on a database or retrieve data from a database. Some common systems that use SQL are: Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, Access, Ingres, and more.

Python is an interpreted object-oriented programming language. Python has many built-in high-level data structures and utilizes dynamic typing and binding. This path will cover foundational concepts and scale up to working with web frameworks and programming a Raspberry Pi.

C++ is an object-oriented programming language that was originally created to be an extension of the C language, and these roots are still present today. C++ can be developed in the object-oriented style, or in the C-style, making it a truly hybrid language.

Ruby is an object-oriented programming language that allows developers to write clean and readable code with a huge amount of useful functionality built into its extended library. Ruby is based on dynamic typing and duck typing, allowing polymorphism without inheritance.

C# is the most commonly used language for leveraging the .NET Framework. Learning C# is a springboard to creating enterprise systems, desktop applications, websites, and mobile applications. This learning path develops an understanding of how to leverage the language’s advanced features.

Learn to build iOS apps for iPhone and iPad. This learning path begins with the Swift programming language, explores Apple’s Xcode IDE and covers all of the essential concepts, architectural patterns and techniques required to develop and build iOS apps.

Android is a powerful operating system that runs on a wide variety of platforms. Kotlin is a modern programming language that simplifies common programming tasks and empowers Android developers to create native Android applications with less code than using Java.

Git is a distributed version-control system for tracking changes in source code during software development. It is designed for coordinating work among programmers, but it can be used to track changes in any set of files. Its goals include speed, data integrity, and support for non-linear workflows.

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Career Building Skills

Polish the skills you’ll need to launch a career in tech! The job search and workplace productivity skills included in Skills For Hire prepare participants for marketing themselves and their new technical skills in the job market.

Even before you begin looking for employment, it’s important to assess your skills, attitude, and responsibilities. You want to make sure you’re ready to find and keep a job and grow your career. This training program will help you to be job ready. This course bundle includes:

  • Are You Job Ready?
    Being employable means having the skills and attitude needed to find and keep a job. This module highlights key employability skills and attitudes, and the importance of being ready to work.
  • Exploring Your Essential Skills
    Essential skills are the tools you need for work, learning and life. This module will provide an overview of the essential skills needed to be successful in the workplace such as reading, numeracy, communication and digital technology.
  • Personal Responsibility and Success at Work
    If you want to maintain a good impression after you get a job, then you need to be ready to put in some effort. This module will highlight the importance of personal responsibility and accountability.
  • Take Charge of Your Job Growth
    Keeping a job is important. So is nurturing and growing your career. This module focuses on how to improve and grow your employability skills.

Planning your career can seem daunting at first, but with thoughtful reflection and a solid plan of action, you’ll be well on your way! This training program will help you know yourself better, explore career possibilities and make decisions about your career path. This course bundle includes:

  • Introduction to Career Planning
    Do you know the difference between a job, an occupation and a career? This module will help match your interests, values, aptitudes, skills and learning style with occupations and activities that are a good fit for your career.
  • Knowing Yourself
    Knowing yourself is the first step of the career planning process. This module will get you thinking about where you are now, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there.
  • Exploring the Possibilities
    In order to plan your career, you need to know what your options are. In this module you will explore different occupations to help identify which ones are the best fit for you.
  • Career Decision Making
    Making decisions about your career can be intimidating. This module will outline the decision-making progress so you can plan your career with the confidence that you’ve made the right choice.
  • Taking Action
    There is a big difference between wanting to make a change and taking action. In this module you will create an action plan so you can map out what you need to do to achieve your goals.

A well-written cover letter and resume are important tools for your job search. This training program will help you prepare a cover letter and resume that will make you stand out, so you get the interview. This course bundle includes:

  • How to Write A Cover Letter
    A cover letter is a way to make a professional first impression and highlight your experiences and skills. This module will discuss how to write a cover letter that helps you stand out from the crowd.
  • How to Write A Resume
    The goal of a resume is not to get a job – it’s to get an interview! This module will help you write a resume that introduces you and your accomplishments, education and experience to an employer. Having a great resume is a great first step, but before you send it to a potential employer it needs to be tailored for the job you’re applying for. In this module you will also learn tips and tricks for ensuring your resume is fit for the job.
  • Resume Writing Dilemmas
    No one is perfect, and many people face employment challenges throughout their careers. In this module you learn what to leave out from your resume, what information to include and how to explain the employment challenges you’ve faced.
  • Highlighting Your Hidden Skills
    Employers look for people who have job experience, but they also look for people who have strong transferable skills. This module will help you identify your hidden talents and write these transferable skills into your resume.

Looking for work can be difficult, but it’s a lot easier when you’re familiar with the variety of ways to find work. This training program will introduce you to many ways you can make the most of your job search. This course bundle includes:

  • Introduction to Job Search
    The job search process is like a journey. If prepared, you can keep yourself on track to get the right job for you. In this module you will learn the key steps of getting a job and building your career.
  • Job Search Methods
    Job search methods are the ways that you use to find out about jobs. This module will help you identify the job search method best suited for you and the type of job you’re looking for.
  • Online Job Search
    The internet has many valuable online resources and job sites that can be used during your job search. This module will help you with your online job search strategy.

You want to ensure you’re prepared to make a good impression when you get an interview. This training program will help you get ready to give great interviews. This course bundle includes:

  • Preparing for an Interview
    Preparing for an interview can give you the tools, information and practice needed to wow your interviewer. This module will give you the tools needed to be prepared when you sit down for an interview.
  • Make a Confident First Impression
    A good first impression will set you up for a good interview, help you present your best self and connect you with your interviewer. In this module you will learn some tips and tricks for making a great first impression.
  • Answering the Tough Questions
    Most interviews require only facts and straightforward answers, but you need to be prepared to answer some tough questions if they come up. This module will give you the knowledge and skills needed to navigate an interview with confidence.
  • After the Interview
    If you really want a job, you can’t just sit back and wait for the job offer. This module highlights the importance of following up and provides guidance on helping the interviewer see that you’re the best choice for the job.

Workplace success requires more than an education or a great work ethic. Good employees require strong communication, the ability to deal with customers and difficult people, basic computer skills and various other transferable skills. This training program will help develop the soft skills needed to be productive in the workplace. This course bundle includes:

  • Teamwork
    Effective teams can accomplish anything they put their minds to. In this module you will learn how to be an effective team player, the importance of collaboration and how to inspire your colleagues to work towards a common goal.
  • Customer Service
    Offering great customer service is all about active listening, communicating clearly and helping patrons set realistic expectations. This module outlines how to set the right tone with your customers and ensure they leave happy with the service they’ve received.
  • Communication
    Communication is one of the most valuable skills you can develop for workplace success. This module will discuss the importance of being an active listener, highlight valuable skills for effective oral communications and provide some tips to improve your written communication skills.
  • Time Management
    Time management skills greatly affect your workplace productivity. In this module you will learn how setting priorities, avoiding procrastination, taking the initiative and why taking care of yourself has a big impact on your workplace productivity.
  • Problem Solving
    Everyday people face new and unique challenges at their job. In this module you will learn how to set and manage priorities so you can focus and effectively solve workplace problems.
  • Dealing with Difficult People
    Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and people get angry. This module will give you the skills needed to deal with difficult customers and workplace conflict. It also provides tips for keeping your cool so you can manage your own anger when faced with a challenging situation.

Apply Today

Project Partners and Funder

DNS Logo

About Digital Nova Scotia

Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) is the industry association for Nova Scotia’s $2.5 billion ICT and digital technologies sector. Our programs, events and opportunities enable us to connect our digital community and proudly promote its successes. Through skills development, capacity building, industry events, strong partnerships, and the promotion of IT opportunities, we are supporting our sector as it continues to grow, evolve and thrive.

We are a membership-driven organization. Our members range from start-ups and SMEs to large multinational corporations, universities and colleges, government, and non-profits. We pride ourselves on connections. Connecting industry leaders through networking events and roundtable discussions, connecting industry with talent through our opportunities portal, and connecting with national organizations to increase the profile of our sector and province.

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About Bluedrop Learning Networks

Bluedrop Learning Networks (BLN) is a Canadian software as a service (SaaS) company with nearly three decades of domestic and international experience in the areas of health and safety certification management, workforce training, and virtual service delivery.

Bluedrop’s flagship product, SkillsPass, is a training delivery and certification management platform, that delivers and validates skills and credentials across large multi-stakeholder environments, such as provinces or states. Accordingly, SkillsPass has been designed to exceed the highest government standards for individual privacy and data security.

Presently the SkillsPass platform has been adopted in 5 Canadian provinces and is trusted by over 2 million individual users.

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This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program.