The FAST Program

Immigration is among the driving factors of Canada’s economic growth. According to the Conference Board of Canada, 350,000 immigrants will be needed annually by 2035 to meet its workforce needs.


A lack of skilled workers in key sectors such as trades, biotechnology, and information technology (IT), causes lost economic opportunities in Canada. In British Columbia alone, for example, this lack of skilled workers can lead to a $4.7 billion potential revenue loss for the economy.


For 2017, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has increased the target level of immigration, recognizing that skilled immigrants play an important part in laying the foundation of Canada’s future economic growth and development.


Experienced professionals and workers like you, who have specialized skills and are immigrating to Canada, could help fill shortages arising from a retiring labour pool.


As a skilled immigrant, there is support available to you. Get a head start in your career in Canada with services and resources from FAST.


Through online learning delivered at no cost to you, you can learn more about your industry, understand Canadian workplace culture, and know what skills you need in your occupation or profession – even before you arrive in Canada!


Initially designed to facilitate access to skilled trades in British Columbia (FAST BC), FAST has developed into a comprehensive set of services and resources for skilled immigrants not only in the skilled trades, but also in biotechnology and life sciences, and IT and data services sectors.

Services to Get You Started Before You Arrive in Canada

Most recent immigrants who want to work in their chosen profession say that they face challenges in gaining employment in Canada. They have difficulty in getting:

  • insights into occupational standards and requirements;
  • clear information about gaps in skills and competencies, and the training required;
  • a comprehensive assessment of knowledge, skills, and abilities (competence) and how they compare to Canadian standards.
Are you a skilled immigrant?

Are you trained and experienced in your home country, and looking for a job in Skilled Trades, Biotechnology and Life Sciences, and Information Technology (IT) and Data Services in Canada?  To qualify for FAST, you must be approved to immigrate to Canada and must have two to five years of work experience in skilled trades, biotechnology, and IT, or in a related occupation.


FAST will let you access services and resources that will help you gain employment or prepare for Canadian certification in your field before you arrive in Canada.


FAST provides pre-arrival support for immigrants who are looking for jobs in the following three industry sectors:

  • Skilled Trades – 35 occupations, such as Carpenter & Welder;
  • Biotechnology & Life Sciences – 16 occupations such as Clinical Research Associate & Research Assistant;
  • Information Technology (IT) & Data Services – 17 occupations such as Information Systems Analysts & Consultants, and Computer Programmers & Interactive Media Developers.

These services and resources are offered online at no-cost to help you:

  • better understand your industry sector and occupation in Canada;
  • gain an understanding of the expectations of the Canadian workplace;
  • evaluate your skills and knowledge;
  • identify the opportunity to fill some competency gaps before you arrive in Canada.

After you complete the online resources and learning, FAST also provides services that enable you to get connected to professionals in your industry, and provide a place for you to show your skills and experience to Canadian employers.


If you are a Canadian employer seeking qualified employees, you can:

  • fill your hiring needs;
  • connect with skilled talent with an international perspective;
  • get a competitive edge by creating a diverse, inclusive workplace.

The goal of the FAST Program is to connect employers to skilled new Canadians, and prepare internationally-trained professionals for jobs that effectively use their talents.



The FAST Program services are provided by the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia (IEC-BC) and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).


The Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) is a not-for-profit organization that provides BC employers with solutions, tools and resources they need to attract, hire and retain qualified immigrant talent. We believe that the successful integration of skilled newcomers into the BC labour force is critical to both their success and the province’s long-term economic performance. We work with employers, government, and other partner stakeholders to ensure that BC employers can effectively integrate global talent.


The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) provides a variety of technical and trades training in BC. Through the FAST Program, BCIT will help evaluate your current credentials, assess your skills and knowledge, and help you identify what’s missing. You will be able to upgrade skills and knowledge in specific areas to prepare for certification (if required) to support you in preparing for work.

Learn more about BCIT

Content Partners


The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit national centre of expertise for the digital economy. Through trusted research, innovative talent solutions, and practical policy advice, ICTC fosters innovative and globally competitive Canadian industries empowered by a talented and diverse digital workforce.

Learn more about ICTC
BioTalent Canada

BioTalent Canada is the HR partner of Canada’s bio-economy. As an HR expert and national non-profit organization, BioTalent Canada focuses on building partnerships and skills for Canada’s bio-economy to ensure the industry has access to job-ready people.

Learn more about BioTalent Canada
FAST is a set of free online services and resources to help skilled immigrants prepare for the Canadian workplace, and to connect employers with experienced workers.
Prepare for a Career in Canada
Connect with a Skilled Immigrant Talent Pool