Tech Skills Initiative Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the cost?
A: This initiative has been funded by Alberta Labour to support unemployed and Employment Insurance (EI) eligible Albertans transition back into the workforce. There is no cost for the training; applicants must be able to financially support themselves for personal living expenses for the duration of the program.
Q: Once approved for the program, when do I start the training?
A: The first intake for 2020 is February 24. We also have intakes planned for June 15 and October 5.
Q: What is the time commitment?
A: You must complete both the classroom training portion, which is 16 weeks (4 months), and the work placement component, which is 10 weeks (2.5 months).
Q: How many hours per week will I spend in the classroom?
A: Classroom training is 25 hours per week (5 hours per day, Monday through Friday) and attendance is mandatory.
Q: What courses are included?
A: We have partnered with IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and CompTIA to offer courses in five topic areas: database administration, business analytics, computer programming, network security, and virtual machine software.
Q: Do I take all of the courses offered?
A: No, you will not take all of the courses. Each intake is designed around one of the five topic themes, and we will place you based on your career goals and strengths.
Q: Will everyone who applies be accepted?
A: No. There are a limited number of program seats available; typically 16-17 per intake. We recommend you apply as soon as possible with a full and complete application. We recommend a well-crafted resume, fully developed LinkedIn profile, and a strong statement of goals and topics of interest on the application narrative section.
Q: How will you determine who is selected?
A: Application decisions will be made based on:
- Eligibility - are you an unemployed or underemployed Albertan eligible for EI?
- Information collected on the application form, resume, and statement of goals
- Information collected during the interviews
- Information collected during the skills assessments
- Final approval of applicant entry into the program is made by Alberta Labour
Q: Will everyone who applies be selected for an interview?
A: No, due to limited program seats only those who demonstrate that they are the best fit will be selected for an interview.
Q: How can I prepare for the interview?
A: Treat the interview the same way you would treat a job interview.
Q: Where will the interview take place?
A: At the Bow Valley College downtown campus next to the City Hall C-Train Station.
Q: What types of skills assessments will I need to complete if I am successful in the interview?
A: We will require you to complete the following 3 skills assessments:
- Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES). This tests basic workplace skills in the areas of literacy (reading and writing), numeracy (math), and document use.
- Microsoft Office Kenexa Assessment. This tests basic computer literacy in the areas of Microsoft Office products such as Word and Excel.
- IT Aptitude Assessment. This is designed to help you measure your aptitude for IT and set goals for your training specialization.
Q: Can I study and prepare for the assessments?
A: The assessments are designed to provide us with a snapshot of your skills and strengths so there is no need to study.
Q: Is the work placement paid or unpaid?
A: The work placement is unpaid.
Q: Am I guaranteed a job at the end?
A: Upon completion of the training, you will possess a competitive skill-set. We will provide you with resources and support in finding employment in a training-related position, but, ultimately, you are responsible for finding your own employment.
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