On May 31st, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser made an announcement regarding the introduction of category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed that the first round of category-based draws will focus on STEM professions and will take place this week.
In the previous week, IRCC conducted the inaugural round of category-based Express Entry draws, specifically targeting healthcare workers.
IRCC will give preference to Express Entry candidates with a strong French language proficiency or work experience in certain fields, including:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions,
- Trades such as carpenters, plumbers, and contractors,
- Agriculture and agri-food
Why YOU must grab this OPPORTUNITY?
The selection of these categories is based on information about labour market shortages, projections, and input received from IRCC partners, provinces and territories, and stakeholders across the country.
Why STEM occupations are PRIORITIZED?
According to Statistics Canada report in 2022 there’s a skills gap in Canada’s STEM labour force due to retirements and the increasing use of technology and automation.
At the end of 2022 Q4, there were 56,915 job vacancies in Canada’s Professional, Scientific, and technical services category.
The 2023 Federal Budget includes a $20 billion investment in major clean electricity and growth infrastructure projects, creating a higher demand for tech workers.
Additionally, Canada’s AI sector is expanding, leading to increased demand for technology professionals, with Canada ranking fourth globally in AI innovation, implementation, and investment competitiveness.
STEM occupations also offer competitive salaries compared to other sectors, with an average compensation of $90,252 in 2021, surpassing the national average of $69,311.
Moreover, at the end of 2022 Q4, the average wage in the STEM sector was $35.80, more than double that of sectors like accommodation and food services.
Eligibility Criteria for STEM occupations:
- Aspiring individuals must meet the eligibility criteria of one of the Express Entry programs (Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, or Federal Skilled Trades Program)
- They must have at least 6 months of continuous work experience in one of the listed occupations within the past 3 years,
- Fulfil all other requirements specified in the instructions for the round.
STEM occupations Category:
The STEM occupations category includes 24 professions, such as:
- Civil Engineers,
- Data Scientists,
- Engineer Managers,
- Land Surveyors,
- Mathematicians, Statisticians, & Actuaries,
- Software Developers,
- Urban and Land use planners,
- Web Developers
How IRCC will select the candidates?
During category-based rounds, IRCC will select eligible candidates from the Express Entry pool based on specific criteria, including:
- Work experience in a specific Technical and Engineering Expertise and Research (TEER) category of the National Occupational Classification (NOC),
- Language ability in English or French,
Consideration of CRS Score:
Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores, which rank candidates based on factors such as age, education, language skills, and work experience, will remain crucial in the selection process.
IRCC will send invitations to candidates with top-ranking CRS scores who are also eligible for the specific category-based draw.