New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program

The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program (NBCWP), which came into play in November 2022, has attracted a lot of interest from skilled immigrants looking for a route to enter Canada.

The program is an experiment of the federal government and the provincial government of New Brunswick to select eligible immigrants who can fill labor shortages in the region. The New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NB PNP) has an employer-driven stream with six participating organizations that are dispersed around the province and represent a wide range of industries and sectors:

  • McCain Foods, 
  • Imperial Manufacturing, 
  • Groupe Savoie Inc., 
  • Groupe Westco, 
  • Cooke Aquaculture Inc., and 
  • J.D. Irving Ltd.

The New Brunswick government stated when the program was first launched that these firms were chosen because they have a long record of awesome immigrant recruitment ways and already have the requisite settlement programs in place.

This new five-year experiment will be analyzed on a regular basis.

What makes it unique from other programs?

While the program uses the NB PNP to target economic immigrants, qualified NBCWP candidates will also get additional settlement help. Participating firms must demonstrate their ability to supply the following in order to guarantee candidates receive this support:

  • robust settlement plans for housing and transit, with a strong focus on long-term retention, to best assist the successful establishment of candidates in their new occupations and localities;
  • comprehensive human resources strategy for attracting and retaining qualified foreign candidates as well as for developing skills while working;
  • Candidates shall get up to 200 hours of language instruction as needed;
  • Give candidates advice and assistance if they decide to seek their Canadian secondary education equivalency.
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Who can submit an application?

Candidates in the program must be able to prove their intention to live in the province and have a legitimate work offer from an appropriate employer in order to be nominated.

The compensation has to be at par with New Brunswick wage rates for the position in the job description. According to the government, the salary listed on the job offer must:

  • be consistent with your employer’s salary compensation structure and comparable to the rate paid to workers in New Brunswick doing comparable occupations who have similar levels of training and experience.
  • Instead of paving via the provincial government, program participants apply straight to one of the program employers.

What is the program’s size?

A total of 10% of New Brunswick’s overall Provincial Nominee Program will go towards the experimental program.

The early success of the program, according to a spokeswoman for Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB), might translate into numbers reaching over 300 applicants and their families being supported through this trial in 2023.

The government is, at present, closely scrutinizing results because the program is still comparatively new, according to ONB. It is still too early to provide any indicative numbers at this time.

It is not anticipated that the program will grow to include other employers for the time being. According to ONB, the pilot’s scope is still constrained, and as a result, it is not now accessible to a larger audience.

Immigration to New Brunswick 

ONB is hopeful that the pilot program will continue to draw in highly qualified immigrants to the province.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the NB Strategic Initiative stream are just two of the immigration streams that New Brunswick has successfully piloted in the past, according to ONB. “Like those earlier pilots, we see the Critical Worker Pilot as an opportunity to implement novel approaches to immigration for economic reasons, monitor the results in a controlled manner, allowing us to make adjustments along the way, learn from these attempts, and build on the successes we encounter,” the statement reads.

Immigration has added immensely to the population increase in New Brunswick in recent years. According to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association, New Brunswick’s population increased by 4,219 as a result of immigration in the 4th quarter of 2022. In comparison to the same period in 2021, there was an increase of 116.8%.

Additionally, the province declared in April that it had obtained a 67% boost in federal funding for immigration. According to the NB PNP and the Atlantic Immigration Program, the province will have 5,500 places available for provincial economic immigration programs to take place in 2023.

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