VICTORIASouth Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) has been selected as the Vancouver Island community partner for the summer 2020 Digital Marketing Bootcamp, a micro-credential program to be delivered by Alacrity Canada and funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness, which is contributing $250,000 to cover the costs of the program.

“Upskilling people through micro-credential programs is an agile response to labour market needs,” says SIPP CEO Emilie de Rosenroll, “particularly as some of our sectors, such as services and tourism, experience massive disruptions and major displacement of the workforce as a result of the pandemic.”

Micro-credentialing has already emerged as a key theme from SIPP’s Rising Economy Taskforce, says de Rosenroll. The Rising Economy Taskforce and its committees — a multi-stakeholder group of 120-plus South Island sector leaders — was convened by SIPP in April to coordinate a strong response to the urgent economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SIPP is one of three BC agencies supporting the Digital Bootcamp, which provides online upskilling for up to 250 participants from BC-based small- and mid-sized businesses, along with unemployed or underemployed British Columbians.

The online course is based on a pilot delivered by Alacrity Canada in late 2019 and early 2020. Almost 45 people participated in the pilot, with a job placement rate of 85 per cent. The bootcamp provides a foundation in digital marketing, including search engine optimization (SEO), analytics, and content, readying participants to work in a range of digital marketing positions. These skills also benefit small and medium-sized businesses that are expanding their sales strategies to include a larger online presence.

“I signed up for the Digital Marketing Bootcamp to sharpen my skills and learn about the latest industry trends,” said Gordon Paterson, SEO specialist. “I completed the course feeling well-equipped to excel in my new job as director of marketing at a local tech startup.”

Registration for the Digital Marketing Bootcamp is open until July 31; the course begins on Aug. 4 and runs for six weeks. To register, visit www.alacritycanada.com/learn .

The bootcamp is one way the BC government is ensuring people and businesses have the support they need to restart and rebuild an economy that works for everyone. As well, the BC Ministry of Education and Skills Development Committee is currently developing a joint proposal to collaborate on a flexible, menu-based micro-credential program, drawing on the strengths of participating post-secondary institutions and private partners.

Fast Facts About Micro-Credentialing and Upskilling

  • Micro-credential courses are highly targeted programs that help students master a specific skill or set of skills.
  • Increasingly, colleges and universities are experimenting with micro-credentials or “badges” to recognize skills that don’t appear on a transcript to give a more complete picture of a student’s educational experience.
  • “Micro-credentials enable post-secondary institutions to be nimble through programming that can equip learners with the specific competencies required to meet the needs of the continuously evolving workplace,” says Jennifer Vornbrock, UVic’s Executive Director,
  • Community and Government Relations, and Co-Chair of the Education & Skills Development Committee. “UVic is excited about the potential of micro-credentialing to better support industry partners and learners.”
  • Canadian university graduates pursued upskilling in large numbers after the 2008-2009 recession. According to a Statistics Canada study based on data from the 2013 National
  • Graduates survey, almost half of the class of 2010 took further courses after receiving their Bachelor of Arts degrees.
  • Businesses are also increasingly seeing micro-credentialing as a response to skills gaps. A 2020 McKinsey Global Survey on future workforce needs found nearly nine in ten executives and managers say their organizations were experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years.