skilled tradesStarting January 2, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will begin accepting applications for a new Federal Skilled Trade program designed to facilitate the entry of overseas skilled tradespersons into the Canadian workforce. Aimed at addressing “serious labour shortages in some regions of the country”, the program will also aim to revamp an immigration system that “has not been open to these in-demand skill workers,” according to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.

Candidates applying under the program will be required to:

  • have received an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a Canadian province or territory
  • have met basic language requirements
  • have obtained at least two years work experience in a skilled tradespersons
  • have skills and experience that match those outlined in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system

In order to ensure faster processing times, CIC will accept a maximum of 3000 applications in the program's first year. Eligible occupations will include electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics, and pipefitters, among others. The final list will be announced prior to the initiation of the program on January 2, 2013.

In addition, CIC is expected to launch a revamped Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) program in 2013.