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Renzoku is Victoria’s first tech apprenticeship-based school

By Carla Sorrell for Douglas, June 3, 2022

Side view studio portrait of Chris Yue in grey suit jacket and hat, seated and looking up
Chris Yue, CEO of Renzoku Tech School. Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.

We’re in conversation with Chris Yue, CEO of Renzoku Tech School. The immersive one-year training program is deeply embedded in industry and, through a hands-on approach, aims to lower barriers of entry in the sector. With plans for three annual intakes and an immersive summer program, the school took in its first cohort of students in January.

Why did you start Renzoku?

Victoria is known to have a shortage of tech talent. That’s where the idea for Renzoku came from — wanting to solve that issue for young people who might have a degree but not the right experience or those that would prefer to learn tech like a “trade” rather than an academic pursuit.

We’re hearing from businesses that are saying, ‘we really need to hire 10 people.’ But there aren’t 10 people because of this big drain on competent people — they’re being lured elsewhere for bigger salaries and other reasons. Or they get people that are coming through that are great in the classroom, but they don’t have enough in their portfolio or enough experience. Do you risk it from the company point of view?

Our program is geared to try to bridge those two things.

Why do companies need talent?

Companies have always wanted to hire the best people. But with COVID, you no longer need to live in Silicon Valley and people started recruiting around the world. A lot of good developers that were in Victoria can now work in San Francisco without having to live in San Francisco. We lost a good number of people there.

What are the skills that companies are saying they need?

Continue reading this conversation here.

Douglas magazine delivers exciting, in-depth editorial about Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island’s vibrant business culture — its startups, disrupters and influencers.