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New Federal Skilled Trades Stream accepting applications 02 January 2013

December 10, 2012 | By Anthony Capkun

December 10, 2012 – A new Federal Skilled Trades Program is being launched January 2, 2013, said Jason Kenney, citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister, to address Canada’s growing demand for skilled tradespersons.

Eligible occupations will include electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, and pipefitters, among others. 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 January 2, 2013.

“The new Skilled Trades Stream will help address serious labour shortages in some regions of the country, and support economic growth,” said 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.”

The program criteria are built around four requirements that ensure applicants will have the right skills and experience needed to succeed here in Canada. 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 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 they have 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.

“These changes are long overdue,” said Terrance Oakey, president of Merit Canada. “The immigration system must respond better to the needs of employers to ensure those immigrating to Canada have the skills required to obtain long-term stable employment.”

To manage intake, avoid backlogs and ensure fast processing times, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept up to a maximum of 3000 applications in the first year program.

“Ensuring Canada’s immigration system works for small employers in need of skilled trades’ people has been a concern for some time,” said Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “With the shortage of qualified labour in many parts of Canada growing once again, the launch of the skilled trades immigration stream is very welcome news.”

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