IEC-BC’s Facilitating Access to Skilled Talent (FAST) is an online skills assessment and development platform that helps newcomers better prepare to enter the labor market, in positions that make full use of their skills by overcoming employment barriers like international credential recognition and a lack of Canadian work experience.
Through occupation-specific workplace cultural and technical competency assessments and gap training, FAST (www.fastbc.org) helps immigrants and employers understand how their skills can meet labour market needs. This online skills development platform lets clients assess their knowledge and skills against standards required for work in Canada. It also prepares newcomers for the expectations and realities of the Canadian workplace.
Piloted as a pre-arrival program, FAST has now served over 800 clients in 68 occupations across three streams – skilled trades, biotech & life sciences, and IT & data services. With strong partnerships in the industry, academia, and government, FAST is the only platform of its kind providing a comprehensive occupation-based pre-arrival employment services program for immigrants.
FAST is one of six innovative projects being funded through the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF).
A partnership of Ryerson University, Conference Board of Canada, and Blueprint, the Future Skills Centre is committed to innovative approaches to help Canadians gain the skills they need to adapt and succeed in the workforce.
Funding for FAST is an acknowledgment of the significant impact the program can have in improving successful employment outcomes for newcomers. The project will test FAST’s model with expanded streams in two additional in-demand industries, accounting and tourism and hospitality in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.
The program is a partnership with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and IEC-BC is also enjoying content support from BioTalent Canada and the Information Communication Technology Council (ICTC).