FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will invest up to $1 million to provide free access to second-language training for unemployed adults, adding more courses on demand and making them more affordable.

“We are listening to New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “Many people realize the economic benefits that bilingualism creates, but some need help to become more fluent in their second language so they can compete for bilingual jobs.”

‎Second-language training is offered at New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels based on demand. To ensure everyone has an opportunity to enrol, the government will partner with the colleges to boost awareness through a marketing campaign, and will strive to add seats to match demand. The government hopes and expects to add more seats if more New Brunswickers express an interest.

“Bilingualism is a strength that gives New Brunswick an economic advantage on the national and international stage,” said Gallant. “Many jobs are available in our province today, and while most do not require knowledge of both official languages, we realize many unilingual New Brunswickers want to take their French- or English-language skills to the next level.”

In working with provincial employment development offices, second-language training at NBCC‎ and CCNB will be provided at no cost to unemployed New Brunswickers beginning in January 2017. Employment insurance recipients will be eligible to continue receiving those benefits while taking second-language training.

“We are committed to delivering economic and job opportunities for New Brunswickers,” said Gallant. “Creating jobs is our number-one priority. We believe these changes will give more people greater opportunities to find employment throughout the province.”

The premier will be available to media today at 12:30 p.m. in the Chancery Place media room.