On June 28, 2023, IRCC Minister Sean Fraser confirmed the first round of category-based draws for STEM occupations will take place this week on July 5. Last week, IRCC held its first-ever category-based Express Entry draw, inviting healthcare professionals.
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:
- Healthcare occupations
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
- Trade occupations
- Transport occupations
- Agriculture and agri-food 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 were STEM occupations chosen?
Reasons for choosing STEM occupations include:
1. Skills Gap in STEM Labor Force:
- A report by Statistics Canada highlighted a gap in the skills needed in Canada’s STEM labor force.
- This gap is attributed to high retirement rates and the evolving technology and automation in various industries.
- At the end of 2022 Quarter 4, there were 56,915 job vacancies in Canada’s Professional, Scientific, and Technical services category.
3. Investment in Clean Electricity and Growth Infrastructure Projects:
- The 2023 Federal Budget includes a $20 billion investment to support major clean electricity and growth infrastructure projects.
- This investment creates a higher demand for workers in the tech sector.
4. Growing AI Sector:
- Canada’s AI sector is experiencing significant growth, leading to an increased demand for tech workers.
- The Global AI Index ranks Canada fourth in global competitiveness in AI innovation, implementation, and investment.
5. Competitive Salaries:
- Many STEM occupations offer competitive salaries compared to other sectors.
- In 2021, the average compensation in the STEM sector was $90,252, well above the Canadian average of $69,311.
- In the fourth quarter of 2022, the average wage in STEM occupations was $35.80, more than double that of sectors like accommodation and food services.
To be eligible for the STEM occupations category, you must:
- Meet Express Entry Criteria: Qualify under one of the Express Entry programs, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, or Federal Skilled Trades Program.
- Accumulate Work Experience: Within the past three years, have a minimum of six months of continuous work experience in one of the listed STEM occupations.
- Fulfill Additional Requirements: Meet all the specific requirements mentioned in the instructions for the category-based draw.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) occupations
|Occupation||2021 NOC Code|
|Architecture and science managers||20011|
|Business systems specialists||21221|
|Computer and information systems managers||20012|
|Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)||21311|
|Computer systems developers and programmers||21230|
|Database analysts and data administrators||21223|
|Electrical and electronics engineers||21310|
|Industrial and manufacturing engineers||21321|
|Information systems specialists||21222|
|Mathematicians, statisticians and actuaries||21210|
|Metallurgical and materials engineers||21322|
|Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers||41400|
|Software developers and programmers||21232|
|Software engineers and designers||21231|
|Urban and land use planners||21202|
|Web developers and programmers||21234|
How Category-Based Rounds of Invitations are 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 STEM-related fields are taken into account.
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) Score:
The CRS score is vital in category-based draws, with invitations typically extended to candidates with top-ranking scores who are also eligible for the specific category.
The inclusion of STEM occupations in Express Entry category-based draws provides exciting opportunities for those interested in contributing their skills to Canada’s growing tech and innovation sectors.
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 STEM career and a bright future in Canada!