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At the New Brunswick Business Council, our mission is to work in our communities to build a competitive and growing economy that provides opportunities for all who invest, work and live in New Brunswick. We want to promote a competitive environment and culture of business growth, to help government shape policies, and to help secure prosperity for all New Brunswickers.

While New Brunswick is a beautiful place to live, it is not without its challenges, one of which is youth outmigration and a shrinking labour force. New Brunswick will have 130,000 jobs needing to be filled over the next 10 years.

That is why the New Brunswick Business Council is proud to be a key stakeholder in the launch of FutureReadyNB.

We know that year after year, thousands of students graduate from our province’s post-secondary institutions. And we know that one of their greatest challenges is finding a job in their chosen field of study. That is why many of these graduating students will move outside of New Brunswick’s borders to seek employment opportunities elsewhere, and contribute to the continued outmigration of our talented, skilled, and educated youth.

It is important that we encourage our youth to live and work in their home province, and that we, as employers, need to help provide them with the opportunity to do so. For students who come from elsewhere to study in New Brunswick, we want them to connect with their community and potential future employers.

FutureReadyNB is a partnership between private sector employers, public universities and government. It was created in response to a task force report that called for expanded experiential learning capacity and work opportunities for New Brunswick university students.

Available year-round, FutureReadyNB provides funding and coordination support for students to pursue off-campus work and learning experiences while they are enrolled in full-time, post-secondary programs.

In this way, this initiative acts as a conduit for finding and nurturing our province’s future employees by helping to develop the skills of the student and augmenting in-class learning. The goal is to support employers in filling labour gaps while providing students with New Brunswick-based job experiences before they graduate.

This can do a lot to encourage more New Brunswickers to stay in the province after they’ve
graduated. Sometimes, students experience difficulty in getting their first job following graduation. Through this initiative, we are helping give New Brunswickers that all-important foot in the door.

If students are able to make these important connections before they graduate, then I believe it would increase their likelihood not only being employed, but staying in the province for a longer period of time following graduation.

Ultimately, FutureReadyNB is intended to support economic growth, and help with employment recruitment and retention of educated New Brunswickers. It will go a long way toward building a workforce that is ready to tackle the challenges that we face in this province, and help strengthen our economy.