Fast Forward Program

IMPORTANT

Please read all the program guidelines provided on this page: important updates have been made to the Fast Forward Program requirements that apply to applications made after September 1, 2018.

The Fast Forward Program provides an opportunity for individuals who are in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) Regular Benefits to attend approved training and receive EI while in training for the duration of their EI claim.

The program is designed to assist Nova Scotians with limited employment barriers who want to pursue training opportunities at their own expense and who can make self-directed decisions regarding their careers and related training opportunities.

Who administers the Fast Forward Program?

Employment Nova Scotia, a division of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, administers the Fast Forward Program in Nova Scotia.

Who administers Employment Insurance?

Service Canada, a federal institution that is part of Employment and Social Development Canada, administers Employment Insurance (EI).

Am I eligible to participate in the Fast Forward Program?

If you are unemployed, eligible to receive Employment Insurance Regular Benefits, have developed a plan to return to school on a full-time basis to upgrade your education or employment skills and increase your skills and knowledge to assist you to find sustainable employment, and have the financial means or financing in place to pay for your education, then the Fast Forward Program may be able to help.

IMPORTANT:

Before applying to the Fast Forward Program, you must be receiving EI Regular Benefits OR have requested EI Regular Benefits by starting an EI claim process with Service Canada prior to submitting your Fast Forward application.

If an application is submitted and this condition is not met the application is returned to the applicant and not accepted.

Applicants are encouraged to begin the EI Regular Benefits claim process as soon as possible. This will allow them to submit their application for the Fast Forward Program to Employment Nova Scotia at the earliest possible date.

Please note:  if you quit your job to return to school, you will likely not be eligible for EI Regular Benefits and if you are not eligible for EI Regular Benefits you are not eligible for the Fast Forward Program.

In addition, the following conditions apply.  You must:

  • Meet the application deadline. The rules are:
    • Whether you’re enrolled or planning to enroll in a short-term training program or training that has multiple terms or semesters, you can apply to the program before or after the program start date so long your application submission is within these timelines:
      • Applications must be submitted no later than 60 calendar days after the start date of the current term/semester of your training program. 
      • Applications received after the end date of a training program will not be eligible or accepted.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Be a permanent resident of Nova Scotia
  • Have a current EI claim for Regular Benefits or have applied to Service Canada for EI Regular Benefits
  • Have been out of secondary school for a minimum of 12 consecutive months
  • Have been accepted to an eligible training program
  • Have a financial plan in place for the full duration of your training
  • Be able to pay your own training costs including tuition and books

What types of training are eligible?

Training must meet all the following conditions to be considered for support under the Fast Forward Program:

  1. Must be full-time, industry recognized and supported by labour market information that indicates there are job prospects in the field, and;
  2. The type of training considered must be one of the following types of training: academic upgrading, literacy/ numeracy, English or French as a Second Language, skills training for specific occupations, and university degree programs, and;
  3. The training duration must typically be a minimum of 5 days in duration and delivered by an approved training institution.
    • Exceptions are considered for courses of shorter duration where the training is longer than 10 hours in duration and includes full, consecutive days of training activity.
    • The definition of an ‘approved training institution’ is that the training must be delivered by a training institution that is a registered training institution in keeping with the Nova Scotia Private Career Colleges regulations and standards. Some training programs are not required to be registered or are exempt from this registration.

What does financial support look like under the Fast Forward Program?

When approved under the Fast Forward Program, individuals who are in receipt of EI Regular Benefits can use their EI claim period to improve their skills and enhance their employability. The Fast Forward Program does not extend the length of time a person receives their EI Regular Benefits beyond the scheduled end date of their EI claim.

Because support is linked to your EI claim the amount of time you receive support and the date your support begins looks different for everyone.  Below are explanations of how support would occur depending on the timing of your application submission.

  • If your application is received before the start date of your current term/semester and approved before that start date, support under the Fast Forward Program will begin on the start date of your current term/semester.
  • If your application is received before the start date of your current term/semester but is approved after that start date, support under the Fast Forward Program will be backdated to the start date of your current term/semester.
  • If your application is received after the start date of your current term/semester and if it is approved, support under the Fast Forward Program will not be backdated to the start date of your current term/semester but will be backdated to the date your application was received by Employment Nova Scotia.

Should you be approved for the Fast Forward Program and should you have difficulty funding your education when your EI payments have ended, Employment Nova Scotia is unable to provide financial supports to you:  this program authorizes you to receive EI from Service Canada while in training only and there are no other financial support options available as part of the program.

How do I apply?

If you are interested in the Fast Forward Program, please complete the application form found below and submit it to your nearest Employment Nova Scotia office. A reminder about the Application Requirements noted above, including:

  • Before applying to the Fast Forward Program, you must be receiving EI Regular Benefits OR have requested EI Regular Benefits by starting an EI claim process with Service Canada prior to submitting your Fast Forward application.
  • Applications must be submitted no later than 60 calendar days after the start date of the current term/semester of your training program. 
  • Applications received after the end date of a training program will not be eligible or accepted.

The application form asks you to describe your employment goals and explain how the training course you have chosen will help you find employment upon completion. You will also need to confirm that you have a financial plan that will fund your education and that will ensure that you have the financial means to complete your training when your EI claim ends. 

Employment Nova Scotia will review and assess your application and if your application is approved you will be contacted and mailed a copy of the approved Fast Forward Program Agreement that will outline your benefits and responsibilities.

Fast Forward Program Application Form