Skills Ontario and Indigenous owned ORIGIN bring skilled trades to life in “Trade Up! Be Proud, Be Skilled” Virtual Reality Careers Campaign

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Paul Giles, Director, and Melissa Hardy-Giles, Owner, ORIGIN
Paul Giles, Director, and Melissa Hardy-Giles, Owner, ORIGIN

Thunder Bay – BUSINESS – Skills Ontario and Indigenous owned VR Production company, Origin, have teamed up to develop 25 virtual reality “career tour” experiences as part of Skills Ontario’s “Trade Up!” campaign. Designed to inspire youth to pursue rewarding careers in skilled trades and technologies, the videos will provide a 360 immersive look at a variety of careers.

“We originally developed our Immersivelink VR platform to give Indigenous job seekers the ability to discover opportunities that might not be available in their communities,” says Melissa Hardy-Giles, Owner of ORIGIN. “I want our people to be able to dream and connect to careers that fit their own natural gifts and abilities. We are currently in approximately 1000 schools across Ontario and continuing to grow and are extremely proud to be working with such a great organization as Skills Ontario to expand our reach and revolutionize the way our future workforce connects toskilled trades and careers”

“Skills Ontario is thrilled to be collaborating with Origin,” says Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario. “We’ve been delivering our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Initiatives for several years, and to partner with an Indigenous-owned organization to further enhance our impact in Indigenous communities is truly incredible.”

Working with various employers across Ontario, the initiative will support future workforce development and focus on attracting new talent to the skilled trades. The campaign will feature a variety of roles and industry settings focusing on increasing enrollment in the skilled trades with diversity at the forefront.

“Leveraging technology allows us to virtually place our future workforce into skilled trades roles so they can ultimately better understand the career opportunities and benefits that these professions have to offer. Most importantly, we can introduce all individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures to these opportunities to increase participation and representation to strengthen our province’s future skilled workforce.”

About Skills Ontario

Skills Ontario has been growing a portfolio of programs to inspire and engage youth since 1989, including presentations, career exploration events, competitions, summer camps, and Young Women’s and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit workshops and conferences. To see how you can partner with Skills Ontario and help make a difference in the lives of Ontario youth, visit skillsontario.com/get-involved.


About Origin

ORIGIN is an Indigenous-owned progressive business enterprise that takes pride in offering innovative technology solutions to a growing portfolio of clients in targeted industries. Founded in 2009, the company’s history is rooted in workforce development and Indigenous engagement and has evolved into a provider of a full suite producer of 360 VR solutions. ORIGIN is the creator of ImmersiveLink (IL), a comprehensive virtual reality-based platform that was created for career (Exploration, Development & Training) as well as for Indigenous cultural awareness & diversity purposes.