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New assessment tool helps newcomers enter labour force

Published: mars 2, 2022

A new online skills assessment and development platform will help tear down barriers to meaningful employment for recent newcomers to New Brunswick. The new tool offers newcomers an opportunity to have their formal training, competencies, and lived experiences assessed against New Brunswick industry standards to identify pathways to employment that can fully leverage their skills and experiences. Employers will be able to use this platform to source skilled workers to fill vacancies.

FAST NB (Facilitating Access to Skills Talent in New Brunswick), is being launched by Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) and New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) in collaboration with Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB), the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL), and the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC).  This assessment tool represents the first phase of the Colleges’ plan to support newcomers in successfully integrating into the labour market and New Brunswick.

“As a significant contributor to New Brunswick’s social and economic prosperity, NBCC is committed to helping every New Brunswicker find a straightforward and accessible path to relevant, meaningful employment,’ said Ann Drennan, Vice President Academic and Research. “The FAST NB pilot is consistent with our ongoing efforts to match skilled workers with the employers who need them.”

“At CCNB, we’re very pleased to work with NBCC on this assessment tool,” said Diane Sénécal, Vice-President of Training and Student Success at CCNB. “The results of this pilot project will help us identify and create opportunities to improve work integration for French-speaking newcomers arriving in New Brunswick,” added Dr. Sénécal.

Through investment by the Future Skills Centre, the FAST platform was developed by the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia (IEC-BC) to help immigrants understand how their skills developed through previous work and educational experiences align with occupations in the Canadian labour market.

FAST NB is building on the proven successes of the platform that has demonstrated newcomer success in accelerating employment outcomes that better align with skills and occupational competencies. The pilot, launching on March 2, will focus on six in-demand skilled trades, with Carpentry the first discipline. The Carpentry module launched by NBCC will be conducted in English, with plans in place to make the platform accessible in both languages for future offerings.

“New Canadians are critical to the growth of our province,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “This initiative will create a clearer path for newcomers to utilize the skills they arrive with and help us address our significant workforce needs in New Brunswick. We appreciate and thank CCNB and NBCC for the leadership they have shown in developing this platform.”

The skilled trades have traditionally been a difficult area for recent immigrants to have their formal training, competencies, and lived experiences assessed.

«Skills and experience follow newcomers throughout their entire lifetime,” said Moncef Lakouas, NBMC President. “Landing in a new country doesn’t erase an immigrant’s ability to contribute to the labour market in a way that is meaningful to themselves or their communities. It is essential that regulations be updated with a more inclusive lens. This new tool is a step in the right direction towards building a solution that will support both newcomers and the overall health of New Brunswick’s labour market. NBMC supports this initiative wholeheartedly.»

Find more information about FAST NB online.


The Facilitating Access to Skills in New Brunswick (FAST NB) online skills assessment development platform is designed to help newcomers get their formal training and experiences assessed against provincial industry standards.

Launched March 2, the platform was designed to identify pathways to employment that draw on newcomers’ skills and experience.

“New Canadians are critical to the growth of the province. This initiative will create a clearer path for newcomers to utilize the skills they arrive with and help adders our significant workforce needs in New Brunswick,” said Labour Minister Trevor Holder.