CHEK Upside: First Nations tech training program launches in Victoria


At the Camosun Coastal Centre, there’s a new group of students starting a new program.

Plato Testing got its start in New Brunswick back in 2015 as a way to create a network of indigenous software testers throughout Canada.

“I think that one of the solutions to poverty or marginalization is opportunity and a real job and giving people the opportunity to change their lives,” says founder Keith McIntosh. “So, I have a company that needs people, I have people that need opportunities, it seemed like a pretty natural fit.”

Since the early days of the company Plato’s testing program courses have been rolled out across the country, and now they’re available in Victoria.

“I’m pretty happy with the students we have in it,” says McIntosh. “Every single one of the students that are in it, we have positions for them when they complete the course.”

The program is designed to provide a foundation for Indigenous students in IT testing and IT specialties.

“Technology is the one opportunity that we can take anywhere,” says McIntosh.

According to instructor Lisa Burke, the program is also an important step in providing employment opportunities in the tech sector for Indigenous workers outside of traditional positions.

“The economy evolves and using last century’s solutions for this century’s problems is not going to work,” says Burke. “So the goal is to give people the tools to deal with tomorrow’s solutions.”

The program has received praise from its students.

“It really seemed too good to be true,” says student Taylor Mackay. “I mean [it’s] funded and living supports as well as really great training.”

To learn more about the program, visit Plato’s website.

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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