Audrey Balsor wasn’t sure what to expect when she applied for Skills for Hire Atlantic. After more than a year in the program, the Lantz resident says it has opened new doors.

When Audrey Balsor came across a listing for the Skills for Hire Atlantic program in early 2021, the Lantz resident didn’t expect to get in.

A career social worker with more than two decades of experience, Balsor knew she wanted her career to be people-focused and creative — and tech didn’t seem to be either.

She applied anyway.

“When I applied and got accepted, I was really surprised,” says Balsor. “I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is actually happening.’”

More than a year after joining two Skills for Hire programs, Balsor says her view of tech has changed.

“I didn’t expect to find creativity in coding. That sounds weird now that I know what it is and how it works,” she says. “I just kind of pictured numbers and binaries. I never looked at the big picture. When I started to, I realized it can be so creative.”

Developed through a partnership between Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) and Bluedrop ISM, Skills for Hire Atlantic is a virtual career-building program, designed to provide in-depth training for high-demand digital skills. It is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program and offered to participants at no cost.

The program was launched in 2019 but took off during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people were looking to learn new skills and explore new career opportunities.


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