Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced Canada will open its doors to 3,000 skilled tradespeople starting next year under a new immigration stream set to launch Jan. 2, 2013.
“The new skilled trades stream will help address serious labour shortages in some regions of the country, and support economic growth,” he said.
“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.”
To qualify, applicants will need to have a prearranged job offer in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory that proves they’ll be “job ready” when they arrive.
They must also meet a basic language requirement, have at least two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson and have the necessary skills and experience needed for the job.
Electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics and pipe-fitters are among the occupations that will be eligible for the new stream.
Kenney said the federal government is working with the provinces and territories to determine exactly which skilled trades are experiencing labour shortages, and a full list will be available before the program launches.
Kenney made the announcement during a news conference in Mississauga, Ont., just west of Toronto.
Until now, skilled tradespeople generally applied through either the Canadian Experience Class, which welcomes those who studied in Canada or were already working here temporarily, or the Provincial Nominee Program, which allows provinces to select immigrants who meet local labour market needs.