Leveraging Ontario’s Digital Talent to Support Students

GTA Weekly
Yvan Baker Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Digital Government MPP Etobicoke Centre

Six-Week Challenge Boosts Innovation and User-Centred Design

Ontario is encouraging entrepreneurs and students to offer their technical expertise and innovative ideas to develop digital solutions to help high school students navigate their education-to-career transitions.

Yvan Baker, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Digital Government, officially opened the Student Pathways Challenge at a tech community event at HackerYou in Toronto.

As part of this innovative six-week competition, the government will provide challenge participants with education and labour market data and support as they develop their user-focused solutions. Interested design teams and individuals have until midnight on November 30, 2017, to finalize and upload their solutions.

Creators of the ten best digital solutions will have the opportunity to present their designs to an expert panel including Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer, Hillary Hartley. Cash prizes of $30,000, $13,000 and $7,000 will be awarded for the three best designs.

Innovative, user-centred approaches to designing digital services are part of Ontario’s ongoing work to become the most transparent and digitally connected government in Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s Student Pathways Challenge enables students and professionals to work with real-life labour market and education data.
  • Ontario is co-founding Code-for-Canada, a not-for-profit organization that helps governments across Canada develop easier and more user-friendly digital services.
  • Ontario has opened a digital outpost at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, dedicated to world-leading innovation and collaboration.
  • With its Open Data Catalogue, Ontario is making hundreds of government data sets available for use by the public.
  • Providing Ontarians with anytime, anywhere access to easy-to-understand labour market information is part of Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy.

Additional Resources


“Since becoming an MPP, I have been working hard to address youth unemployment and underemployment by advocating that we provide students with the information that they need to make an informed decision about which college or university program will allow them to achieve their learning and career goals. The Student Pathways Challenge will allow people across Ontario to compete to create a digital tool to solve this important problem.”

Yvan Baker

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Digital Government

“Ontario’s civic tech communities are a hotbed of creativity and talent that can help government deliver user-centred services. I can’t wait to see the diverse design ideas that emerge when we tap into this innovative ecosystem as part of the Student Pathways Challenge.”

Hillary Hartley

Chief Digital Officer Ontario

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