The FAST Program

Facilitating Access to Skilled Talent (FAST) is a free online employment preparation program helping incoming and landed immigrants to get a head start in their Canadian careers. Early results have shown that 67% of landed FAST clients get hired in their fields within 1-4 weeks of arrival.


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 Canada’s 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.


Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has increased the target level of immigration for 2017, 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 immigrants 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 to help you achieve your career goals 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 Help 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.


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

  • Skilled Trades35 occupations such as Carpenter & Welder;
  • Biotechnology & Life Sciences16 occupations such as Clinical Research Associate & Research Assistant;
  • Information Technology (IT) & Data Services17 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 FAST is to connect employers to skilled new Canadians and prepare internationally-trained professionals for jobs that effectively use their talents.


Program Delivery

The FAST Program services and resources are delivered by the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia (IEC-BC), funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.


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 Future Skills Centre

The Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) is a forward-thinking research centre with a focus on how to best prepare Canadians today for workforce opportunities of the future. The Centre will test and rigorously measure innovative approaches to identify emerging in-demand skills and help Canadians develop the skills they need to take full advantage of and succeed in the new economy. FSC-CCF is a partnership between Ryerson University, Conference Board of Canada, and Blueprint.




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

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) provides a variety of technical and trades training in BC. If you are a carpenter, power engineer, or automotive service technician registered in FAST, BCIT will support in assessing 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.




The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) works with newcomers to help them build a future in Canada. They provide a wide range of services to immigrants, from refugee resettlement to professional programs, from family counselling to English in the Workplace.



Manitoba Start

Manitoba Start connects business to a world-class workforce and is the leading provider of career services for newcomers to Manitoba. We address employers’ recruitment needs by matching the unique skill sets of qualified, job-ready newcomers with employers’ specific job requirements.


TRIEC champions the talent and experience that immigrants bring to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We support organizations to become more inclusive, and help newcomers expand their professional networks and understand the local labour market. We collaborate with leaders and organizations to build a GTA where immigrant professionals can contribute to their fullest potential.


The Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) is the training, governing, and regulatory body for over 36,000 CPA members and 5,000 CPA students and candidates. CPABC carries out its primary mission to protect the public by enforcing the highest professional and ethical standards and contributing to the advancement of public policy. CPAs are recognized internationally for bringing superior financial expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, and leadership to organizations.


ITA leads and manages B.C.’s trades training and apprenticeship system by providing apprentices with high-quality skills to fully participate in B.C.’s growing economy. ITA works with its partners to deliver a superior and inclusive trades training system.

HR Tech Group

HR Tech Group, an association of human resources professionals employed in BC tech companies, produces the leading BC Tech Salary Survey and provides new and benchmark data that keeps members up to speed on local business practices in tech. Serving over 150 member companies in all tech sectors including ICT, film/VFX, digital media, clean tech and life sciences, HR Tech Group provides the only forum for HR professionals employed in BC’s tech sector to exchange relevant knowledge, share experiences, expand their networks and learn.


VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 50 years, offering post-secondary training in over 120 programs including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With three campuses located on Broadway, Downtown, and on Annacis Island, students can choose from hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality, transportation trades, and music.

NextStop Canada

Next Stop Canada is a pre-arrival program that provides online settlement information & orientation about life in Canada and referrals to both pre- and post-arrival services to adults and youth 12+ immigrating anywhere in Canada. Clients can get information on a wide range of settlement topics such as employment, education, housing, community connections, newcomer resources and so much more. Their website offers a wide range of online services that include live chat, personalized settlement plan, online resources (live webinars, videos, blogs, e-learning courses), adult & youth mentorship programs and interactive community forums.

Success Skills Manitoba

Success Skills Centre is a community-based, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the recognition of the skills, training, education and knowledge of immigrant professionals and skilled workers, leading to workplace participation appropriate to their credentials.



FAST is a set of free online services and resources to help skilled immigrants and Canadian employers succeed.
Launch your Career in Canada
Connect with a Skilled Immigrant Talent Pool