On November 7, the provincial government of New Brunswick announced that the province is planning to launch a new immigration pilot project: the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot. This immigration stream is a joint project between federal and provincial governments in a quest to attract skilled workers into occupations that are difficult to fill. Apart from addressing the critical worker shortages, this new stream also promises to offer more flexibility by permitting participating employers to offer settlement services (skills and language training) and guidance to the newcomers coming to the province.
“Participating employers will greatly benefit from filling critical vacancies, while applicants will find meaningful work in a welcoming environment,” says Arlene Dunn, minister for Immigration and Opportunities New Brunswick.
“Immigration is certainly good for our communities. Newcomers play a key role in the development of Atlantic Canadian communities and in supporting the success of businesses,” said Minister Sean Fraser of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship. “New Brunswick’s Critical Worker Pilot is an innovative amazing approach that will offer employers an opportunity across New Brunswick to meet their specific labour market needs.”
In addition to addressing critical labour shortages, New Brunswick is also concerned with retaining newcomers. Meaningful work is a key factor in retaining newcomers; this pilot is a first step in addressing both concerns. The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot will work with six shortlisted employers in the province:
- Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
- Groupe Savoie Inc.
- Groupe Westco
- Imperial Manufacturing
- D. Irving Ltd.
- McCain Foods.
New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) employers were selected for their impeccable track record, good immigrant recruitment practices, and existing settlement programs. To participate, an employer must:
- Support the successful establishment of candidates in their new jobs and communities with robust settlement plans for housing and transportation, as well as strong commitments to long-term retention.
- Implement a comprehensive human resources plan for recruiting and hiring skilled international talent as well as enhancing on-the-job skills.
- Offer up to 200 hours of language training, as required, to candidates
- Provide guidance and support to candidates seeking the equivalent of Canadian secondary education.
In order to ensure that the five-year pilot program remains responsive to the province’s immigration needs and delivers the desired outcomes, it will be monitored and evaluated regularly.
“The Saint-Quentin region continues to thrive, thanks to newcomers, and we continue to support welcoming them in rural New Brunswick”, said Alain Bossé, President and COO of Groupe Savoie Inc.