Heather McGilvary Explains How LaunchPad Fuels Growth for Tech Students and Employers

A common challenge faced by students and recent graduates is the Catch 22 of, “I can’t get a job because I have no experience, and I have no experience because I can’t get a job.” TECHNATION’s LaunchPad is here to break that cycle and help to build connections between emerging tech talent and the Canadian organizations that need extra help.

Canada is dealing with significant skilled workforce shortages, and businesses across all sectors need technology support, particularly in cyber security. This is complicated by the fact that technology is a rapidly evolving industry requiring those in the field have up-to-date knowledge of the latest advancements and trends. “Student talent is an untapped resource for Canada’s employers. Students are innovative, motivated, and eager to gain work integrated learning experience alongside their post-secondary studies,” says Heather McGilvary, Senior E-Learning and Future Workforce Consultant for TECHNATION.

Any student currently enrolled within an accredited post-secondary institution who pursues employment while they are completing their studies would be considered a paid student work placement.

LaunchPad is helping propel Canada’s tech sector forward by facilitating paid work placements for technology students, offering significant wage subsidies of up to $7,000 per student for companies that need tech talent.

Jumpstarting Student Careers and Filling Gaps in the Workforce

McGilvary notes that employers are immensely burdened with workforce skill shortages when recruiting for their workforce—especially for tech-related roles, since tech spans all industries, disciplines and sectors. Some employers are not sure which skills are required to attain business goals like successfully setting up an online presence to navigate the highs and lows of operating their business during the pandemic.

“A great answer to bringing the right skills at the right time to employers is through tapping into the unharnessed potential of students.”

Students can register through LaunchPad’s online portal and be linked up with a compatible organization seeking tech talent. After their placement, upon graduation, they’ll already have the necessary experience and tools to help continue that forward trajectory instead of starting from square one.

It’s also an opportunity to test the waters for both the student and the employer. Many employers who have successful student work placements hire the student on full time when they graduate, so some may be able to skip the job search altogether! “It’s in everyone’s best interest that the experience is rewarding and ultimately insightful.”

Setting Up Students and Employers for Success

Beyond just facilitating these connections between students and businesses, LaunchPad prepares students and employers for their upcoming work placements with a library of online learning modules. “LaunchPad is dedicated to support both the employer and the student in their work experience,” McGilvary says. This way, both parties are ready to navigate the process, tackle challenges, and work towards more successful outcomes.

For students, entering the workforce can feel particularly intimidating, which is why LaunchPad’s learning modules provide training across all areas of business—from communications to project management to use of Excel—so they’ll be equipped with even more skills and tools to thrive in their new environment.

“The most valuable step students can take is to explore the courses and take the ones they know could best enhance their experience. Best of all, they can get certificates and badges to build their resume and LinkedIn profiles, demonstrating to employers that they are ready and skilled to enter into a work placement.”

As an employer, once your student worker arrives for their placement, it’s up to you to help make the transition smooth and the experience enriching. The onboarding process is crucial—if you want a successful outcome, you need to create an environment where growth is possible.

Finding the time to incorporate skills training into a demanding leadership role may seem like an ambitious undertaking but LaunchPad’s learning modules were designed with the help of a diverse committee of employers across Canada, helping tailor the software so it’s easy to fit into a busy schedule.

Employers identified resources and adaptable templates as high priorities. Available time is limited, and learning needed to be fun, quick and interactive. They also needed a place to go to have their queries answered.

“We have answered those needs, provided real-time solutions through LaunchPad, and we really are quite excited about it! We love when we get feedback from employers about how relieved they feel to finally have a dedicated resource for hiring students. The ability to learn at your own pace is exactly what employers are seeking as they navigate this new 2022 landscape.”

Elevating Canada on the Global Stage

When it comes to leadership in global technology, Canada is significantly falling behind. TECHNATION aims to supercharge our momentum and propel our tech talent forward so that Canada can compete on the global stage amongst other tech giants. By providing highly enriching training opportunities and work placements through LaunchPad, and incentives to diversify existing tech teams, the future of tech in Canada is looking much brighter.

“Once you see how easy and helpful the process can be, the barriers to hiring student employees immediately crumble. Employers, we have your back. We know what roadblocks you face, and we make it as clear and efficient as possible to overcome them.”

Are you prepared for launch? Find out more about how LaunchPad can provide you with tools and opportunities to grow. We want to see Canada succeed, and TECHNATION is here to help make it happen.