Transitions from energy to tech

At A Glance

Felipe was a mid-career mechanical engineer who lost his job due to the shift in Calgary’s energy sector – like many industries facing significant disruption now and in future due to the move toward sustainability. But he was highly-skilled and he found EDGE UP, a program that would help him reskill and pivot to the high-growth IT sector. FSC helps transition talent to emerging economies and address the skills mismatch in the labour market.






Calgary, AB

On this PageThe ChallengeEnter: EDGE UPThe ResultThe ImpactWhat's Next

The Challenge

Forty-six year-old Felipe Moreno was a mechanical engineer in the Calgary oil and gas sector for 15 years. After his company was bought by a larger firm in 2019, he was laid off.

As Calgary’s oil and gas sector had to shift and pivot, Felipe was one of the many highly skilled workers left behind.

Enter: EDGE UP

Felipe joined EDGE UP, a program that reskills displaced mid-career workers in Calgary’s energy sector to transition to high-growth IT sector. Over nine months, Felipe learned coding and data analytics skills, bolstered his confidence and connections, and pivoted to a new career.

Following consultations with local employers to determine the most promising digital upskilling pathways, the program trains participants in many areas including workplace readiness, cultural and technical skills, as well as work-integrated learning.

An early pilot revealed that the average engineer or scientist already possesses about half of the skills needed for many IT jobs such as project manager and software developer – currently one of the most in-demand tech roles in Calgary’s workforce.

The Result

After completing the program, Felipe landed a full-time job at Neo Financial, a fintech institution in Calgary, where he handles data and technical analysis.

70% of the EDGE UP’s first cohort of 90 are now employed in tech jobs or furthering their education; the project has expanded to help 320 workers.

The Impact

As Calgary’s economy is shifting, FSC is partnering with EDGE UP, fostering innovative solutions for a local, displaced, skilled and well-positioned workforce to power Alberta’s future economic success. Thanks to the program, many mid-career professionals like Felipe have already found meaningful employment in a thriving new sector without having to relocate.

As a multi-stakeholder program, EDGE UP brings together post-secondary institutions, training organizations, and employers to better understand the skills required for tomorrow’s digital jobs, design appropriate curriculum, and to create the best training pathways and ensure a market-ready talent pool can meet employer’s needs.

EDGE UP has attracted partner companies like Amazon Web Services to increase cloud computing capacity and ultimately tap into Calgary’s highly-skilled talent pool, helping address the skills mismatch that is slowing many rising sectors.This program has received domestic and international government acclaim such as from the OECD, and will help inform workforce adjustment planning and future policy-making efforts.

EDGE UP has attracted partner companies like Amazon Web Services to increase cloud computing capacity and ultimately tap into Calgary’s highly-skilled talent pool, helping address the skills mismatch that is slowing many rising sectors.

What’s Next

After promising early results, FSC reinvested in the program to help scale it, an example of how FSC fosters innovative solutions for wider adoption.

EDGE UP 2.0 welcomed a new expanded cohort accessing new career pathway options like cybersecurity, increased work-based learning, and exposure to new employer partners increasing job placement opportunities.

This program has potential application for other sectors or regions, and its upcoming insights can inform domestic and international programming and policy-making efforts.

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