New Federal Skilled Trades Stream accepting applications Jan. 2

Meant to address 'serious labour shortages'
||Last Updated: 12/11/2012

To address Canada’s growing demand for skilled tradespersons, a new Federal Skilled Trades Program is being launched Jan. 2, 2013.

The program criteria are built around four requirements meant to ensure applicants have the right skills and experience needed to succeed in Canada, according to the government. In order to qualify, applicants will need to:

have an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory to ensure 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 the applicant has recent and relevant practice as a qualified journeyman

•have the skills and experience that match those set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system, showing they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.

“The new Skilled Trades Stream will help address serious labour shortages in some regions of the country, and support economic growth,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “For too long, Canada’s immigration system has not been open to these in-demand skilled workers. These changes are long overdue and will help us move to a fast and flexible immigration system that works for Canada’s economy.”

In order to manage intake, avoid backlogs and ensure fast processing times, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept up to 3,000 applications in the first year of the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

“The introduction of a dedicated and streamlined program for skilled trades addresses many of the shortcomings from the current Federal Skilled Worker Program,” said Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association. “The new program ensures greater consideration is given to the needs of industry when processing eligible immigration applications.”

Eligible occupations will include electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics and pipefitters. CIC is currently working with the provinces, territories and federal government partners on the list of skilled trades’ occupations that are experiencing acute labour shortages and which will qualify under the program. This list will be announced prior to the program opening on Jan. 2, 2013.

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