Canada is ready to start targeted Express Entry draws for skilled workers starting next year in a bid to deal with massive labour shortages, says Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
In an interview with the Reuters global news agency, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser pledged to work with provinces that make it easier to recognize the foreign credentials of doctors and nurses with a specific, skilled worker program targeting in-demand occupations.
“We can do a targeted draw beginning in 2023,” the federal immigration minister reportedly said. “That will allow us to select workers by the sector that they work in and the part of Canada that they are going to.
“This means we will be able to bring a greater focus to welcome more healthcare workers … in jurisdictions that will allow them to practice.”
Job Vacancies In Canada Stood At 958,000 In August
Canada is facing a massive labour shortage.
In its Payroll Employment, Earnings And Hours, And Job Vacancies, August 2022 report released this week, Statistics Canada reveals there were 958,000 jobs going begging in Canada in August.
Ottawa’s response has been to raise Canada’s level of immigration to record-breaking levels.
In its 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, the federal government is targeting 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025.
That’s a total of 1.45 million immigrants to Canada over the coming three years.
But many employers think Canada needs to do much more to attract skilled workers to the country through economic immigration programs.
“Unfortunately, economic-class permanent residents represent only 58.5 per cent of total admissions in the plan announced (by the immigration minister last week),” said Goldy Hyder, the Business Council of Canada’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“This is far fewer than the number needed to support Canadians’ high standard of living.”
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data for the first eight months of this year reveal the country welcomed 186,195 new permanent residents through economic immigration programs during that period.
Those who came to Canada through those economic immigration programs in the first eight months of this year comprised 60.2 per cent of the total 309,240 new permanent residents to the country during that period.
Economic Class On Track To Be More Than 60% Of All Canada Immigration This Year
Based on that trend, Canada is already on track to welcome 279,292 new permanent residents under economic programs this year, roughly 2.6 per cent or 7,267 new permanent residents more under those programs than Ottawa is targeting for next year under the new immigration levels plan.
Adopting the Business Council of Canada’s target of 65 per cent for economic immigration, the country would see 302,250 new permanent residents under economic immigration programs out of the total 465,000 next year.
The Business Council of Canada maintains economic immigration is critical to growing the Canadian economy.
“Every job that is not filled represents one less person contributing to Canada’s economic growth and one less person paying taxes to support Canada’s social infrastructure,” said Hyder.
The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the TFWP, can under normal processing situations lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and the processing of visa applications within two weeks.
Employers can also bring in foreign nationals to fill available positions through the Express Entry system, which receives immigration applications online.
It powers the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FST), and Canada Experience Class Program (CEC) which all draw from the Express Entry pool of candidates. Those with the required Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores are then sent Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in regular draws.