FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is working with partners to launch a new initiative, called FutureReadyNB, designed to expand the provincial workforce, keep young people in New Brunswick and grow the economy.

The partners include the New Brunswick Business Council, the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, the United Way Central NB, the Royal Bank and the province’s four publicly funded universities.

FutureReadyNB aims to help university students become job-ready while supporting local employers in finding and recruiting qualified staff. The initiative will:

  • Provide students with on-the-job experience with employers prior to graduation.
  • Improve the job readiness of students related to their field of study.
  • Support growth, recruitment and retention for New Brunswick employers.

“Giving New Brunswick students the skills and opportunities they need to thrive is a team effort,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Trevor Holder. “We are thrilled to work with private sector and non-profit leaders, along with New Brunswick’s outstanding publicly funded universities, to create a collaborative initiative that will help students, businesses and not-for-profit organizations.”

Undergraduate students can be eligible to receive funding and co-ordination support to develop the skills and opportunities they need through New Brunswick-based job experiences. Through FutureReadyNB, local employers can nurture and strengthen connections with future employees.

“FutureReadyNB is a fantastic opportunity for employers across the province to connect with eager, talented university students,” said Thomas Raffy, CEO of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick.

“This initiative is a conduit for finding and nurturing our province’s future employees,” said Adrienne O’Pray, CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council. “It helps develop the skills of the student and augments in-class learning, and goes a long way toward growing our workforce and strengthening our economy.”

“Experiential learning will increase diversity and enthusiasm in workplaces and will inject energy and fresh perspectives into non-profit work,” said Jeff Richardson, executive director of the United Way Central NB.

All undergraduate students of New Brunswick’s four publicly funded universities are eligible to participate. The learning experiences must be with New Brunswick-based employers and co-ordinated through campus-based experiential learning offices throughout the academic year. Each of the four universities; St. Thomas University, the University of New Brunswick, Université de Moncton and Mount Allison University, have experiential education co-ordinators who will match students and employers.

“This initiative has the power to really help students see and plan a future for themselves in New Brunswick,” said Emily Blue, executive director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance. “Through FutureReadyNB, university students will have the chance to make connections within the business, not-for-profit, and public sectors giving them the skills and experience needed to land great jobs here in New Brunswick.”

“We are very pleased with this initiative, which will help our members to gain access to paid experiential learning opportunities,” said Alexandre Cédric Doucet, president of the Fédération des étudiantes et étudiants du Campus universitaire de Moncton. “These experiences will become even more important to them as they begin to build their lives in New Brunswick after graduation.”

FutureReadyNB was created in response to a task force report that called for expanded experiential learning capacity and work opportunities for New Brunswick university students. The goal is to support employers in filling labour gaps while providing students with New Brunswick-based job experiences before they graduate. Ultimately, FutureReadyNB is intended to support economic growth, and help with employment recruitment and retention of educated New Brunswickers.

More information about FutureReadyNB is available on its website.