The Canadian government, through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), has introduced a new approach to the selection process for Express Entry candidates targeting agriculture and agri-food occupations.
On May 31st, the Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, announced the introduction of category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates.
The IRCC has decided to prioritize candidates with strong French language proficiency or work experience in specific fields. These fields include:
- Agriculture and agri-food occupations
- Healthcare occupations
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
- Trade occupations
- Transport occupations
The selection of these categories was carefully determined based on various factors. The IRCC considered information about labor market shortages and projections, as well as input from their partners, provinces and territories, and stakeholders across the country.
Why Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations?
The inclusion of agriculture and agri-food occupations in the category-based draws is based on extensive consultations. Various stakeholders, including the public and provincial and territorial representatives, identified these occupations as a top priority.
At the end of 2022, there were 10,535 job vacancies in agriculture and agri-food occupations, representing a 3.9% vacancy rate. Here’s the provincial breakdown:
- Ontario: 3,070
- Quebec: 1,950
- British Columbia: 2,475
- Alberta: 940
- Saskatchewan: 540
- Manitoba: 550
- New Brunswick: 720
- Nova Scotia: 425
- PEI: 130
Agriculture and Agri-food Occupations
The agriculture and agri-food occupations category includes the following 3 occupations:
|Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and horticulture services||82031|
|Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors||82030|
|Butchers – retail and wholesale||63201|
What are the Eligibility Criteria for Agriculture Occupations?
Candidates targeting the agriculture occupations category must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Meet Express Entry Criteria: Fulfill the eligibility requirements of one of the Express Entry programs (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, or Federal Skilled Trades Program)
- Work Experience: Have at least six months of continuous work experience in one of the listed occupations within the past three years
- Fulfill Additional Requirements: Meet all the specific requirements mentioned in the instructions for the category-based draw.
How Category-Based Rounds of Invitations Chosen?
Category-based rounds of invitation are determined based on the following criteria:
- Work Experience: Candidates with work experience in a specific Technical, Engineering, or Engineering-related (TEER) category of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) may receive invitations.
- Language Ability: Proficiency in either English or French is assessed to ensure candidates can contribute effectively to the Canadian workforce.
- Education: Academic qualifications and degrees in agriculture-related fields are taken into account.
The Role of the Comprehensive Ranking System
The Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) will continue to play a crucial role in the selection process.
- The CRS ranks Express Entry candidates based on their age, education, language skills, work experience, and more.
- It’s important to note that category-based draws are an additional mechanism to the existing general and program-specific draws.
The CRS score remains central in the category-based draws. The IRCC will continue to extend invitations to apply (ITA) to candidates who not only have top-ranking scores but are also eligible for the category-based draw.
The inclusion of agriculture and agri-food Occupations in Express Entry category-based draws provides exciting opportunities for those interested in contributing their skills to Canada’s growing agriculture sectors.
The Express Entry system aims to increase Canada’s economic growth by inviting the most qualified candidates to help fill job market vacancies. Whether you’re a supervisor in landscaping, a farm supervisor, or a butcher, Canada’s doors are open wider than ever for you.
If you meet the eligibility criteria and have the necessary work experience, don’t miss this chance. Prepare your application, improve your language skills, and aim for a high CRS score to increase your likelihood of receiving an invitation.
Best of luck on your journey to a rewarding Agriculture career and a bright future in Canada!