Newcomers Essential Skills Training (NEST)

Newcomer Centre NEST Program

Designed to build newcomers’ essential skills for employment success.


what we can help you with

Introduced in August 2021, Newcomer Centre’s NEST program is a 5-month, full-time, applied learning training program that prepares Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 3 to 5 newcomers and immigrants with the knowledge and skills to participate in the larger social community and economic environment.

The NEST program builds essential and transferable employment skills for enhanced life experiences for participants, as well as offers personalized
approach to learning by providing individual coaching sessions, group training focused on applied learning and workplace exposure.

Essential skills are:

  • Reading text
  • Use of documents
  • Writing
  • Working with numbers
  • Oral communication
  • Thinking skills
  • Working with others
  • Computer use
  • Continuous learning

participant benefits

There are many benefits to participants of the NEST program including:

  • Increased employability or eligibility for further training
  • Increased essential skills competencies
  • Enhanced self-confidence in abilities and accomplishments
  • Elevated positive attitude to continuous learning
  • Demonstrated initiative through innovation
  • Enhanced confidence to make decisions more independently
  • Improved resiliency / ability to cope with changes

Additionally, Newcomer Centre staff also offer assistance in supporting participants with:

  • Improving English communication skills
  • Understanding Canadian culture
  • Learning computers
  • Developing relationships
  • Increasing awareness of the labour market
  • Conducting successful job searches
  • Researching employment and education opportunities


how the program works

This program is delivered twice a year to 14 eligible applicants each time and includes:

  • 20 weeks of full-time classes
  • 30 hours per week from Monday to Friday – 6 hours per day from 9 am—4 pm
  • 90 days (3 months) of supported follow up

program eligibility

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Unemployed or marginally employed
  • A resident of Alberta (must reside in Alberta); Permanent Resident, new Canadian Citizen or Refugee with Positive Notice of Decision Letter
  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 3 to 5 in all skill areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Highly motivated and committed to completing the program


upcoming programs

Our next program dates are:

  • Aug. 1, 2023—Dec. 22, 2023
  • Feb. 5, 2024—Jun. 27, 2024

The NEST program runs out of the Newcomer Centre Central location at 10170 112 Street NW.

find out more

  • Depending on household income, participants may qualify for a monthly living allowance while participating in Newcomer Centre NEST program.
  • View NEST Brochure
  • Contact: Digna Lopez at or call 780-423-9687


program funded by