June 13, 2023

New Brunswick’s Critical Worker Program for 10% of PNP Candidates

New Brunswick, a province in Canada, has launched an innovative immigration program known as the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot (NBCWP) program. This joint initiative between the New Brunswick provincial government and the federal government aims to attract skilled newcomers who can address labor shortages in the province. The program offers a unique pathway for eligible candidates to immigrate to Canada through the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NB PNP). In this article, we will explore the details of the NBCWP and its significance in facilitating economic immigration to New Brunswick.


The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot Program:

The NBCWP was introduced in November 2022 and has since garnered significant interest among skilled immigrants seeking to establish themselves in Canada. It operates as an employer-driven stream of the NB PNP, partnering with six prominent employers in New Brunswick. These employers were selected based on their exceptional immigrant recruitment practices and existing settlement programs. The participating employers are Cooke Aquaculture Inc., Groupe Savoie Inc., Groupe Westco, Imperial Manufacturing, J.D. Irving Ltd., and McCain Foods.


Key Distinctions of the NBCWP:

What sets the NBCWP apart from other programs is its focus on providing additional settlement support to eligible candidates. To ensure successful integration and long-term retention, participating employers must offer robust settlement plans for housing and transportation. They are also required to develop comprehensive human resources strategies for recruiting and enhancing the skills of international talent. Furthermore, candidates may receive up to 200 hours of language training if necessary, and they are guided and supported in pursuing Canadian secondary education equivalency.


Eligibility Criteria:

Candidates interested in the NBCWP must have a valid job offer from one of the participating employers. They must also demonstrate their intent to reside in New Brunswick. The job offer should offer a wage that is competitive with the rates in the province, considering the candidate's experience and training level. The wage must align with the compensation structure of the employer and be comparable to similar positions in New Brunswick.


Program Allocation and Expectations:

The pilot program has an allocation of up to 10% of New Brunswick's overall Provincial Nominee Program. The government aims to support nearly 300 nominees and their families through this pilot in 2023. While it is still too early to provide representative numbers, the success of the program has been acknowledged by Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB), the provincial economic development agency. The pilot program is currently limited in scope and is not expected to expand to include other employers.


Implications for New Brunswick Immigration:

New Brunswick has a history of successfully piloting immigration programs, such as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP) and the NB Strategic Initiative stream. The Critical Worker Pilot is viewed as another opportunity to innovate and refine economic immigration approaches. The government closely monitors outcomes and adjusts the program based on the successes and challenges encountered. The province has experienced population growth due to immigration, and the NBCWP is expected to contribute further to this trend.

The New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot program offers a unique avenue for skilled immigrants to establish themselves in Canada. Through partnerships with select employers and the provision of additional settlement support, the program aims to address labor shortages in New Brunswick. As the program progresses and matures, it is anticipated to attract skilled immigrants to the province, fostering economic growth and development. New Brunswick's commitment to innovative immigration initiatives positions it as an attractive destination for those seeking new opportunities in Canada.


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