IEC-BC helps integrate internationally trained professionals with FAST program
Friday, June 30, 2017

The Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia (IEC-BC) is expanding its FASTBC.ORGprogram to help skilled immigrants become better prepared for work in Canada, and connect employers with internationally trained workers.

Initially designed to facilitate access to three skilled trades in B.C., FAST has now evolved into a comprehensive set of services and resources for immigrant workers in 35 skilled trades, 17 occupations in IT and data services, and 16 occupations in biotechnology and life sciences.

“These tools have been developed to help both Canadian employers and skilled immigrants effectively contribute to building a stronger Canadian economy,” says IEC-BC CEO Patrick Mackenzie.

FAST gives skilled immigrants a head start in the Canadian labour market, all before actually moving to Canada. Along with information about the Canadian workplace, the online program provides immigrants a comprehensive assessment of their competencies. It offers recommendations to improve their knowledge or training if needed as well as suggests possible alternative careers where their skills are in demand.

In turn, the results of the FAST assessment give employers looking to hire a snapshot of the abilities the prospective candidate brings to the table.

Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the FAST Program is a partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

“Together, FAST and BCIT are ensuring that internationally trained immigrants have the knowledge and the connections they need to contribute to the success of the Canadian economy directly upon arrival,” says BCIT president Kathy Kinloch.

Currently, more than 160 clients who have been approved to immigrate to Canada use FAST. One of them is Paul Foers, a power engineer from the U.K. who will be moving to Canada in the fall. He registered for the program in February, and has since finished the Canadian Workplace Culture and Power Engineering modules.

“Completing the Prepare for Work in Canada module in the FAST program was very useful,” he says.  “Although there are a lot of similarities to the U.K., understanding the subtler aspects of the Canadian workplace will prove important in my move to this country,” he says.

Once participants complete the online learning within FAST, registered employers can connect with them through an easy-to-use database.

read more

Source: Canadian Immigrant

Photo: Power engineers like Paul Foers from the U.K. are in demand in B.C.