A shortage of skilled workers in today's digital job market is creating a global race for talent. Nurturing the next generation of technology professionals is critical to building a successful and safe digital future for all.
By developing new and diverse talent from communities currently underrepresented in IT, we work with clients, charitable organizations, academic institutions and more to promote an equitable and inclusive professional community that drives value and innovation. In 2021 alone, over 100,000 people from around the globe took advantage of our educational initiatives to enhance their digital skills.
As champions of digital inclusion, we seek to improve access to technology education for students of all ages and prepare them to succeed in a digital society. In fact, by 2025 we’ve committed to twice as many participants in our training and mentoring programs as the total number of our professionals at CGI.
To foster interest in IT careers, we organize and host in-person and virtual activities to:
- Inspire future careers in technology
- Mentor individuals to develop diverse talents
- Innovate digital solutions for education
Inspiring future careers in technology
Through training-to-employment programs and reskilling opportunities, we encourage students to meaningfully engage in the IT industry, inspire them to explore the possibilities of technology, and prepare them to succeed in the digital economy. Here are examples of our initiatives.
Supporting refugees at the ReDI School
The ReDI School of Digital Integration in Germany was founded in 2016 to bring more people into technology fields. For several years, CGI professionals in Munich have worked closely with the ReDI School to support refugees and individuals from underprivileged backgrounds by introducing them to IT. Our contributions include CV coaching, laptop donations, support for hackathons, and offering training courses.
Providing apprenticeships across the world
Our apprenticeship programs provide on-the-job training for IT careers. For example, in the Czech Republic, we host intensive IT training “boot camps,” with graduates offered full-time jobs with CGI upon completion. In Finland, our Future Talent Program offers 100 “traineeships” each year, and most participants remain as full-time employees. In the UK, CGI apprenticeship students can gain a degree debt-free while embarking on their professional careers. In the U.S., our Apprenticeship Program provides training to qualified applicants in underemployed and underserved workforces.
Building tomorrow’s IT talent through STEM@CGI
STEM@CGI is a global program that helps to build a diverse and robust technology talent pool for the future. STEM camps, the flagship program of STEM@CGI, provide fun, hands-on experiences that introduce young people to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and inspire them to explore subjects like computer building, design thinking, adaptive learning, data analytics, business consulting, smart cities and more. We partner with schools, government bodies and non-profit and community organizations who connect us with the students they serve and collaborate with our clients on STEM initiatives.
In response to COVID-19, we refocused via STEM@CGI At Home to help parents, teachers and caretakers meet the challenges of remote and hybrid learning. Thousands of STEM activity packs across six countries were downloaded, covering subjects from coding, to robotics, to renewable energy. In the UK, the program has evolved to include “Sisters in STEM” activities that encourage young girls to take an interest in STEM fields.
Below are just a few examples of STEM@CGI:
- We adopted 100 schools across Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai to provide innovation workspaces where students as young as 12 can access technology kits and IT equipment.
- Our EmployABILITY program helps students from the UK that are currently underrepresented in our industry to virtually build the skills needed to pursue a successful career in the world of STEM. Participants gain industry insight, connect with STEM professionals and prepare for the world of work by learning about CVs, interviews, networking and more.
- For several years, with our client Cigna, a global health services company, we have co-hosted a STEM camp with the American School for the Deaf. Volunteers from Cigna and CGI introduced computer building and game making to the students. For many, this was the first time they had hands-on exposure to IT careers.
Providing mentoring to develop diverse talents
Increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in tech careers begins with inspiring young people, fueling their passion for technology and cultivating their interest in shaping the digital future. Not only does mentoring help build a team’s diversity, it also encourages learning and development, and empowers individuals to take control of their professional growth. Establishing mentoring relationships with underrepresented groups helps us foster and support the leaders of tomorrow.
Empowering women at Dalhousie University
When we empower more women to lead, we foster diverse leadership teams that incorporate multiple perspectives. To help women gain access to opportunities in IT, CGI teamed with one of Canada’s top five banks to offer the Dalhousie University Women in Technology Scholarship, providing tuition assistance and career mentoring to female students studying computer science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.
Helping underserved students through the P-TECH initiative
Our New Brunswick, NJ, office joined forces with New Jersey’s P-TECH initiative which focuses primarily on students from underserved backgrounds by providing them with an alternative path to earn a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree at their own pace, while gaining relevant work experience. A team of our professionals mentors P-TECH students for the four to six years they spend in the program.
Boosting young people’s professional skills with Avado’s FastFutures
During COVID lockdowns, our professionals provided mentoring for Avado’s FastFutures in the UK, a free-to-access development program supporting young people, regardless of their background or geographical location, to develop the skills needed for employment. Through collaborative projects, interview practice and virtual site visits, young people gained insight into the workplace, acquiring valuable knowledge through exposure to different communities and perspectives.
Developing digital solutions for education
The need for safe and secure online educational tools was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related lockdowns that closed physical classrooms around the globe. To meet evolving educational needs, we deliver world-class digital learning tools for students.
Using gamification to teach children cybersecurity skills
As internet use grows alongside the proliferation of smart devices, it highlights the importance of keeping children safe in today’s digital world. The first step to protecting children from online security risks is to inform and educate them. To make learning fun, our professionals in Finland developed Spoofy, a free game that turns children into cybersecurity heroes who help solve puzzles. This game is now available in multiple languages and countries.
Making digital education accessible for 2 million students
Designed to benefit the entire educational community, OpenENT is used by 2 million students in France at more than 1,700 schools. Digital workspaces operate as a social network dedicated to education that is secure and under the control of the school. OpenENT enables trust between pupils, parents and teaching staff while contributing to the continuity of teaching. For example, during the pandemic, the solution helped school communities respond to the crisis by enabling digital services for textbooks, workspaces, messaging and school reports.
Modernizing digital education in Scotland
As the primary IT provider in Glasgow and the Scottish Borders, CGI created a unique digital solution, Empowered Learning, which has been central to modernizing digital education delivery in this region. CGI is collaborating with Empowered Learning to bring in stronger networks for primary and secondary schools, with much faster broadband speeds, new WAN connectivity, and updated audio-visual solutions in every classroom.
Furthering our commitment
We’re dedicated to advancing our education and mentoring programs around the globe. To achieve our goal of education program participants, we remain an invested, responsible corporate citizen within our communities, empowering our professionals to actively engage. Learn more about our ESG (environmental, social and governance) priorities.