The demand for land surveyors is expected to outstrip the capacity of Canadian schools to train up a new generation of workers to do the Canada jobs that will become available in the coming decade, creating opportunities for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to Canada.
In his final report to the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association earlier this year, Dr Brian Ballantyne noted that after the year 2027, the University of Calgary (UC), the University of New Brunswick (UNB), the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) or the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) will only be able to provide slightly more than half, 55 per cent, of the land surveyors needed in Alberta.
In that report, Demand for, supply of, and diversity among Alberta Land Surveyors to 2033: Changing the narrative, he puts forth five recruitment strategies, including “attracting foreign-trained land surveyors (FTLS) and technicians, from overseas post-secondary schools and workforces.”
The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) offers a somewhat more optimistic scenario of Canada’s overall ability to train up land surveyors, which it lumps together with architects and land use planners, but still forecasts an on-going labour shortage.
“Over the period 2022 – 2031, the number of job openings arising from expansion demand and replacement demand for landscape architects, urban and land use planners and land surveyors is expected to total 2,700, while the number of job seekers arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility is expected to total 2,700,” the COPS website forecasts.
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“As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at very similar levels over the 2022 – 2031 period, the labour shortage conditions seen in recent years will not clear and is expected to persist over the projection period.”
That means foreign nationals with the qualifications and experience to be land surveyors, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 21203, are facing an ideal situation to gain their permanent residence in Canada as the demand for these workers continues to outstrip the supply.
In addition to retiring Baby Boomers taking their leave, the new jobs for land surveyors in the coming years are expected to be fuelled by Canada’s commitment to shifting to greener technologies.
“Given the nature of their work, demand for workers in this occupational group will be supported by public and private investment in large infrastructure projects related to the transformation of the economy towards more green technology,” notes the COPS website.
Rising Use Of Green Tech Expected To Drive Demand For Land Surveyors
“Demand for greener buildings and environmentally-conscious designs is likely to keep growing over the next decade.”
The Indeed.ca job-hunting website had 71 job listings for land surveyors in early August.
With Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announcing earlier this year that Canada’s Express Entry system will begin targeting 82 jobs in healthcare, technology, trades, transport and agriculture this summer – including land surveyor – foreign nationals hoping to immigrate to Canada are now looking at a new opportunity to immigrate to Canada.
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The flagship Express Entry selection system has previously only conducted draws based on immigration programs, not by targeting specific occupations.
Candidates will need at least six months of continuous work experience in Canada or abroad within the past three years in one of these occupations to be eligible, experience that can have been gained while working in Canada as temporary foreign workers with a work permits or as an international student with a student visa.
In Canada, the median hourly wage for land surveyors is $30 but that varies from a low of $23.40 right up to $50, reveals Job Bank.
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Based on a standard, 37.5-hour work week, that means these workers could expect to earn a top median annual income of $97,500.
Under the changes announced at the end of May, the Express Entry streams, including the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as parts of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) will now be more responsive to labour market needs.
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“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”
Canada first signalled its intention to start occupation-specific draws through Express Entry in June last year, when changes were made to the Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act to allow invitations based on occupations and other attributes, such as language ability.
The majority of Canada’s provinces have been issuing occupation-specific invitations for several years.
Under the changes to the act, the immigration minister is required to consult provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners, before announcing new categories.
IRCC must also report to parliament each year on the categories that were chosen and the reason for the choices.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) says the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021. From 2018 to 2022, federal high skilled admissions accounted for between 34 and 40 per cent of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec, which manages its own immigration intake.
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