New Brunswick Targets Hard-To-Fill Jobs With New Pilot Immigration Program

New Brunswick Targets Hard-To-Fill Jobs With New Pilot Immigration Program
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The Canadian province of New Brunswick is aiming to attract skilled workers for hard-to-fill jobs with a new pilot immigration program.

The joint federal-provincial New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot will see the initial participation of six employers who will offer skills and language training and other guidance and support to newcomers.

The participating employers have a good reputation with the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NB PNP), have previously hired immigrants, have settlement programs in place and are willing to provide on-the-job training and language support.

The six employers are:

  1. Cooke Aquaculture,
  2. Groupe Savoie Inc,
  3. Groupe Westco, 
  4. Imperial Manufacturing, 
  5. J.D. Irving Ltd,
  6. McCain Foods.

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“New Brunswick has a successful track record with immigration-related pilot programs, which is why we are grateful that the federal government has chosen our province for this one,” said Arlene Dunn, the minister responsible for Immigration and Opportunities NB. 

“Participating employers will greatly benefit from filling critical vacancies and applicants will find meaningful work in a welcoming community.”

Employer Requirements for New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot

Employers must:

  • have robust settlement plans for housing and transportation to best support the successful establishment of candidates into their new jobs and communities, with strong commitments to long-term retention;
  • have comprehensive human resources planning in place for recruiting and hiring skilled international talent, and for on-the-job skills enhancement;
  • provide up to 200 hours of language training, as required, to recruited candidates; and
  • offer guidance and support to candidates who may wish to pursue their Canadian secondary education equivalency.

The five-year pilot program will be monitored and evaluated regularly so that it remains responsive to immigration needs and delivers the highest possible outcomes for the province, the NB PNP said.

Moncef Lakouas, board president of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) said: “Meaningful employment is consistently cited as the number one most important factor impacting our newcomer community’s long-term retention. 

“The Critical Worker Pilot Program is exciting and innovative in that it guarantees jobs to newcomers while also delivering vital settlement services such as language training and access to housing. 

“I appreciate how the program uses a mutual-benefit approach to support newcomers and employers.”

Prioritising Applications

New Brunswick is currently focusing on processing Canada immigration applications from technology and health-related occupations, and international graduates in the province, to help tackle its backlog.

The province is prioritising applications from 12 specific National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes, plus francophones and New Brunswick graduates.

“Effective immediately, ONB Immigration is implementing specific measures to manage the New Brunswick Skilled Worker stream inventory through to the end of 2022,” said a New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program statement in September.

The 12 NOC codes being prioritised are:

Technology Occupations

  1. 2147: Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
  2. 2172: Database analysts and data administrators
  3. 2173: Software engineers and designers
  4. 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  5. 2175: Web designers and developers
  6. 2281: Computer network technicians
  7. 2282: User support technicians
  8. 2283: Information systems testing technicians

Health-Related Occupations

  1. 3012: Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  2. 3233: Licensed practical nurses
  3. 3413: Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  4. 4412: Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

The province guides applicants towards the Atlantic Immigration Program if they do not fall into one of the categories.

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