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Local students given $50k to learn coding skills

Premier Christy Clark and Hyper Hippos CEO Lance Priebe.
April 28, 2015 - 12:21 PM

KELOWNA – Students looking to learn more about computer coding in the hopes of entering the quickly growing technology sector got a boost from the provincial government today.

Okanagan College will be getting part of a $250,000 funding grant from the provincial government to help develop computer coding-related skills for the growing sector.

Premier Christy Clark made the announcement Tuesday, April 28, on the patio of Hyper Hippos, a Kelowna company that made national headlines in 2007 when it sold one of its games to Disney for $350 million.

Clark said B.C. is home to a growing tech sector that generates about $23 billion in annual revenue and employs around 84,000 people.

"Aligning coding skills needed by local tech businesses with post-secondary courses will keep this sector growing, and create more career paths for students who want to stay in B.C.,” she said.

Okanagan College, as well as the Univsersity of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and the British Columbia Institute of Technology will each receive $50,000 to pilot short-term coding training tailored to meet local industry needs and job openings.

"The tech sector has sent a loud and clear message that there are job opportunities locally, nationally and internationally," Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton said. "With the right training, hands-on experience, and industry contacts, thriving careers are easily within grasp for students from Okanagan College."

According to a press release sent by the provincial government on Tuesday a labour-market outlook study released on March 12 by the Information and Communications Technology Council projected an estimated demand of more than 182,000 new people to fill jobs across Canada.

Computer programmers and Interactive media developers are among the top 60 occupations in the British Columbia 2022 Labour Market Outlook.

"Succeeding in our industry is very, very hard. Our international success is completely because of the super-awesome Kelowna team," Hyper Hippo Games CEO Lance Priebe said. "We see the opportunity to make Kelowna the leader in digital entertainment. As a growing tech company, Hyper Hippo is thrilled to see this help today in growing talent in our own backyard."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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