105 Newcomer Adults Launch into Workforce
105 newcomer adults from Fredericton, Greater Moncton Area, Woodstock, Edmundston, St. Stephen, Bouctouche, Claire, Jacksonville, and the Saint John Region will become the inaugural adult graduating cohort of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council’s flagship employability program, Skills Launch NB.
The Skills Launch Adult program includes 6 months of intensive training and work placements that prepare participants to move into the workforce to apply their skills and launch their careers in New Brunswick. The program was developed by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council in partnership with its member agencies and is co-funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Government of New Brunswick via WorkingNB.
The design and delivery of Skills Launch has demonstrated success in supporting immigrant and refugee youth and adults in achieving full-time employment or advancing their education and training. The inaugural adult cohorts of Imagine NB were designed in response to the employment gaps and barriers faced by adult immigrants in New Brunswick. COVID-19 exacerbated existing barriers faced by newcomers in securing full-time, meaningful employment. Skills Launch NB prioritized the engagement of newcomers in rural communities who may not have access to employment programs like this.
“We are extremely pleased to see more cohort graduates continue on to full-time employment and advancing their education – this is the type of program that changes lives and we have seen year after year graduates pursue their career interests and succeed in our communities,” said Moncef Lakouas, president of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. “The Skills Launch program also demonstrates how targeted investments in newcomer employment and strategic partnerships lead to impactful change – we have waiting lists of people hoping to partake in the initiative – we have big dreams for Skills Launch and call on governments to continue supporting these initiatives in the years ahead.”
Representation in the inaugural Skills Launch Adult program continues to be world-class, including 29 countries represented by this year’s participants. Employer engagement remains strong, with 52 employers across different regions of the province that offer a range of job placements, including Intervener for Women and Children, Supply Chain Management, Childcare Educators, Network Administrator, Mechanic Support, Pharmacy Assistant, Electrician Apprentice, Personal Support Worker, and more.
As COVID-19 continues to impact the labor market and New Brunswick’s economy, Skills Launch will continue preparing newcomer adults with the tools, connections, and skills necessary for full economic participation.
Abeer Kebba, of Cohort 1 testified to the strength of the program and its facilitators by saying, “…all that I have now is from [Skills Launch] because [the program] always pushed me forward.” Nan Nan, of the same cohort, furthered Abeer’s comments by saying, “[Skills Launch has] given me unforgettable experiences and continuous support during a challenging year.”
Graduate Larysa Motspan spoke about her settlement and Skills Launch NB journey in detail, saying, “In two years, I improved my English and joined Adult Skills Launch Program. It was an amazing time for me. I met incredible people. This program gave me the opportunity to grow, opened my mind, and opened up prospects. We learn a lot about Canadian work culture and essential skills for different specialties…This time passed for me very quickly and the memories will remain in my heart forever.”
The skills gained through this program are not just employment-specific; skills such as problem solving, goal setting and leadership can be used in all areas of their lives. This has helped participants to focus on wellness during these particularly challenging times and continues to help them moving forward. Participants make connections with other newcomers outside of their own cultural groups, as well as with outside community members who partner with the program, allowing them to build a broad and diverse network and strengthen their integration in the province.
The graduation and employers’ appreciation events are held by 3 of the program’s delivery sites, MAGMA – AMGM in Moncton, YMCA of Greater Saint John – Newcomer Connections, and the Multicultural Association of Fredericton; all NBMC members respectively. Graduates from our rural centres will participate in the events in the event region closest to them.
Skills Launch Success Video – Khadija: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omV5sKVlizI
Skills Launch Success Video – Djamillatou: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veFEo3-DFWk