On August 18 2012 Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) published proposed regulatory amendments in the Canada Gazette which, once enacted, would create the Federal Skilled Trades Programme.(1) On January 2 2013 Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that CIC would begin accepting applications under the programme, effective immediately.

Eligible occupations are split into two groups: Group A includes 17 jobs with a moderate labour market need, while Group B includes 26 in-demand jobs. These occupations are listed below, along with the 2011 National Occupational Classification(2) code:

  • Group A – jobs with sub-caps of 100 applications each (and their corresponding 2011 National Occupational Classification code):
    • 7202 – Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations;
    • 7204 – Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades;
    • 7205 – Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers;
    • 7271 – Carpenters;
    • 7301 – Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades;
    • 7302 – Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews;
    • 8211 – Supervisors, logging and forestry;
    • 8221 – Supervisors, mining and quarrying;
    • 8222 – Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services;
    • 8241 – Logging machinery operators;
    • 8252 – Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialised livestock workers;
    • 9211 – Supervisors, mineral and metal processing;
    • 9212 – Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities;
    • 9214 – Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing;
    • 9231 – Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing;
    • 9241 – Power engineers and power systems operators; and
    • 9243 – Water and waste treatment plant operators.
  • Group B – jobs without sub-caps (and their corresponding 2011 National Occupational Classification code):
    • 7231 – Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors;
    • 7233 – Sheet metal workers;
    • 7235 – Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters;
    • 7236 – Ironworkers;
    • 7237 – Welders and related machine operators;
    • 7241 – Electricians (except industrial and power system);
    • 7242 – Industrial electricians;
    • 7243 – Power system electricians;
    • 7244 – Electrical power line and cable workers;
    • 7245 – Telecommunications line and cable workers;
    • 7246 – Telecommunications installation and repair workers;
    • 7251 – Plumbers;
    • 7252 – Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers;
    • 7253 – Gas fitters;
    • 7311 – Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics;
    • 7312 – Heavy-duty equipment mechanics;
    • 7313 – Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics;
    • 7314 – Railway car men/women;
    • 7315 – Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors;
    • 7318 – Elevator constructors and mechanics;
    • 7371 – Crane operators;
    • 7372 – Drillers and blasters – surface, mining, quarrying and construction;
    • 7373 – Water well drillers;
    • 8231 – Underground production and development miners;
    • 8232 – Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers; and
    • 9232 – Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators.

To avoid backlogs and ensure fast processing times, CIC has indicated that it will accept no more than 3,000 complete Federal Skilled Trades Programme applications to process in the first year (January 2 2013 to January 1 2014). Within this annual cap, no more than 100 new applications for each job listed under Group A will be considered for processing. However, jobs listed under Group B will not be subject to a job-specific sub-cap.

In addition to falling under one of the above occupations, Federal Skilled Trades Programme applicants must satisfy the following four minimum requirements:

  • The applicant must have a qualifying offer of employment (from up to two employers in Canada) with a total duration of at least one year, or a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial apprenticeship authority.
  • The applicant must possess language proficiency in either English or French, as evidenced by a test from a designated language testing organisation, establishing that the applicant's abilities meet the thresholds set by the minister in all four language abilities (speaking, reading, writing and listening). The threshold is Level 5 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) for speaking and listening, and CLB 4 for reading and writing. CLB 4 is considered basic proficiency, while those with CLB 5 can more effectively participate in and understand routine conversations.
  • The applicant must possess at least 24 months' full-time (at least 30 hours a week) work experience (or the equivalent of part-time work experience), after qualification or certification in the country where the work was performed, in the same skilled trade within the last five years.
  • The applicant must possess qualifications that satisfy employment requirements as described in the National Occupational Classification, except for certification and licensing requirements, which are difficult to obtain outside Canada.

For further information on this topic please contact Henry J Chang at Blaney McMurtry LLP by telephone (+1 416 593 1221), fax (+1 416 593 5437) or email (hchang@blaney.com).

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Endnotes

(1) See www.blaney.com/articles/citizenship-immigration-canada-proposes-amendments-immigration-and-refugee-protection-regulations.

(2) See www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/noc/english/noc/2011/Welcome.aspx.