A new program will be launched in the new year to help tackle Canada’s upcoming shortage of skilled tradespeople. Immigration Canada’s new Federal Skilled Trades Program will begin on Jan. 2, 2013, and will except upwards of 3,000 applications in the first year.
Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association, said the program addresses shortcomings within the current Federal Skilled Worker Program.
“The new program ensures greater consideration is given to the needs of industry when processing eligible immigration applications,” said Atkinson.
The CCA stated that the current 100-point system places too much emphasis on post-secondary education and high proficiency levels in Canada’s official languages.
The new program’s criteria will be built around four requirements:
- Have an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory to ensure that applicants are “job ready” upon arrival;
- Meet a basic language requirement;
- Have a minimum of two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson, to ensure that the applicant has recent and relevant practice as a qualified journeyman; and
- Have the skills and experience that match those set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system, showing that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.
“For too long, Canada’s immigration system has not been open to these in-demand skilled workers,” said Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. “These changes are long overdue and will help us move to a fast and flexible immigration system that works for Canada’s economy.”
The Construction Sector Council has estimated that Canada’s construction industry will require approximately 320,000 new workers by 2020.
Sources: Immigration Canada and Canadian Construction Association.