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ICTC and Savoir-faire Linux Partnership: Empowering Ontario Youth to Digitize Small Businesses

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Amir Taherizadeh

 

Logo ICTC           Logo Savoir-faire Linux

Toronto, March 29, 2017 – The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and Savoir-faire Linux Inc. have joined together to deliver the Small Business Digitization Initiative (SBDI). With this initiative being piloted in Ottawa, Toronto and North Bay, up to one hundred Ontario youth between the ages of twenty to twenty-nine will have the opportunity to receive twenty-four weeks of free training with the aim of transforming them into future business digitization leaders. This pilot initiative started its first class in Ottawa on January 23rd, 2017. Over the next six months, cohorts will be starting in North Bay and Toronto in March, and in Toronto and Ottawa in April.

SBDI is a training program, funded by the Government of Ontario, that connects youth and small businesses together to solve real employer digital adoption challenges. The initiative provides training for in-demand skills to unemployed and underemployed youth to prepare them for the digital workplace, while providing businesses with enthusiastic and knowledgeable talent to implement smart technology solutions to support their innovation.

One of the key features of this program is the integration of in-class training with hands on experience. The twenty-four weeks of full-time training will include a sixty-day experiential work placement, where each participant has the opportunity to work with innovative entrepreneurs and small businesses to expand their skill set while providing sustainable solutions to improve business operations by implementing technology solutions. Youth will attain transferable workplace skills in project management, data analytics and intelligence, entrepreneurship, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) (including principles of sales, marketing and accounting).

Savoir-faire Linux is responsible for more than half of the classroom training delivery. Savoir-faire Linux’s instructors kick-start the course with a boot camp on business strategy and innovation, focusing on the 4th industrial revolution driven by digital technologies. The main part of the course focuses on the automation of back-office processes, introducing technologies to save time and money to small businesses, and to provide a better service to their customers.

Savoir-faire Linux ensures that this training is grounded in reality. In class, Savoir-faire Linux instructors help students to understand technology and practices aimed at fitting software to the business. Students will spend the other half of the training at a work placement, to solve a real challenge. There will be ample time in class to provide guidance, as students learn by alternating class work with industry work.

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