Trades are one of the key sectors prioritized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Express Entry category-based draws in 2023, reflecting the nation’s focus on diverse and essential fields.
In 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) prioritized five occupational sectors for Express Entry category-based draws:
- Agriculture and agri-food occupations
- Healthcare occupations
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
- Trade occupations
- Transport occupations
Why Skilled Trades are Essential
ESDC’s projections indicate a need for over 256,000 new apprentices within the next five years to meet the burgeoning demand for skilled trades in Canada.
The Red Seal is a program that develops standards and exams for Red Seal trades. Tradespersons who successfully pass the Red Seal exam receive a prestigious national endorsement, signifying that they have met the country’s standards in their respective trade.
Meeting Canada’s Labor Market Needs
BuildForce Canada projects that the construction industry must recruit 299,200 new workers by 2032. This imperative arises from the impending retirements of 20% of the labor force in this field, equating to 245,100 workers, within 2022.
The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) operated by ESDC forecasts significant job openings in the category of “trades helpers and laborers.” This segment is poised to grow by nearly 20,000 positions between 2022 and 2031. These openings can be attributed to various factors:
- 3,400 (17%) of job openings due to “expansion demand.”
- 11,800 (60%) of job openings created by retirements.
- 1,800 (9%) of job openings stemming from “other replacement demand.”
- 2,600 (13%) of job openings resulting from “emigration.”
Collectively, these figures underscore the imperative for Canada to welcome thousands of new workers proficient in skilled trade occupations to alleviate labor shortages.
Opportunities for Prospective Immigrants
Express Entry Draws:
The 2022 year-end Express Entry report reveals that immigration candidates with experience in trades occupations were among the top recipients of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for permanent residence in Canada.
Cooks as an Example:
In 2022, cooks ranked among the top 15 primary occupations for Canadian immigrants who received ITAs. This trend persisted from 2021 when individuals in this occupation were among the top five ITA recipients.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion until July 2023, emphasized the need for skilled immigrants to address Canada’s housing crisis.
“We need those workers to actually come in and help us build the housing that Canadians need.”Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
These trends suggest that even before the introduction of category-based draws, the Canadian government was actively seeking immigrants who could bridge labor market gaps in the skilled trades.
IRCC conducted a specific draw on August 3, inviting 1,500 candidates with work experience in the trades to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Candidates in this draw were required to have a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 388.
Data obtained from IRCC indicated that category-based draws for trades workers would account for approximately three to four percent of all ITAs issued under Express Entry for the remainder of the calendar year.
List of Targeted Trades Occupations for 2023:
- NOC 73200 – Residential and Commercial Installers and Servicers
- NOC 72406 – Elevator Constructors and Mechanics
- NOC 72405 – Machine Fitters
- NOC 72402 – Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Mechanics
- NOC 72400 – Construction Millwrights and Industrial Mechanics
- NOC 72310 – Carpenters NOC 72300 – Plumbers
- NOC 72200 – Electricians (except Industrial and Power System)
- NOC 72106 – Welders and Related Machine Operators
- NOC 72014 – Contractors and Supervisors, Other Construction Trades, Installers, Repairers, and Servicers
Canada’s emphasis on skilled trades within the Express Entry system opens doors of opportunity for immigrants aspiring to establish meaningful and rewarding careers.
Individuals with expertise in trades can make a significant contribution to Canada’s growing economy, address critical labor market shortages, and build a prosperous future in this diverse and welcoming nation.
Do not miss your chance – consider the Express Entry program as the gateway to your successful journey to Canada, where your skills are not just valued but actively sought after.