A local company specializing in educating people in the growing world of digital marketing is working to launch the careers of dozens of Indigenous people.
At the beginning of the fall semester 45 seats with scholarships for Indigenous students were made available at Jelly Academy, based in Fort Langley; this was due in part to education being a common barrier for Indigenous students entering the workforce, says the company.
“As an educator and leader with Indigenous roots myself, it’s always been of great importance for us to give back and support others to assist with jobs, opening doors and the growth of other Indigenous businesses,” says Jelly's founder Darian Kovacs, who has Metis heritage.
Students were taught skills around SEO, social media, Google Analytics, and advertising on different platforms.
"Within a field such as marketing, it is about the power of voices and stories, which means all voices should be heard and have space," states the company in a press release. "Through these scholarships, the goal is to ensure more Indigenous voices are being heard within the industry."
Agencies like SearchKings, based in Ontario, need employees with these skills, with plans to hire 23 in the next few months.
"This is exactly what the industry needs - more digital marketing skilled workers," says the company's president, Darryl Margaux.
Indigenous graduates from the program are also getting some hardware provided by Best Buy.
Jelly is aiming to create a more diverse workforce with their scholarship program, the company states. On their website they also advertise BIPOC scholarships.