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If you're considering studying and immigrating to Canada, in-demand skills are your ticket.
Canada is improving its immigration system. Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a plan to prioritize immigration by focusing on skills needed to fill job shortages. This helps Canada reach its economic, social, and cultural goals.
Canada’s new immigration strategy aims to prioritize international students for permanent residence based on their skills matching job demand. The plan focuses on strengthening connections between students, universities, and employers, giving students with in-demand skills better opportunities for work and permanent residency.
To make this happen, IRCC is considering changes like providing work opportunities for international students and updating the Post-Graduation Work Permit to support important sectors in Canada. Additionally, the department plans to promote high-demand skills to attract international students, which could be a big deal for those hoping to work and eventually become permanent residents in Canada.
WHAT WILL THESE HIGH-DEMAND SKILLS BE?
It’s too early to know exactly which skills and sectors Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will focus on in the future. However, recent updates to Canada’s Express Entry system give us a clue. Express Entry is a major pathway for economic immigrants, and in 2023, it underwent significant changes.
Now, candidates can be invited to apply for permanent residence based on their professional skills and language proficiency. This shift aims to better match the skills of potential immigrants with the needs of Canada’s job market, addressing vacancies in important sectors. The new categories created include:
- Professional experience in Healthcare related professions;
- Professional experience in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions;
- Professional experience in Trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors, and other associated professions
- Professional experience in Transport related professions;
- Professional experience in Agriculture and Agri-food professions; and
- Proficiency in French.
Because the new category-based selection in the Express Entry system aims to match immigration with job market needs, we can expect that many in-demand skills will be linked to the professions targeted by this new system. In-demand professions are crucial not only for Express Entry but also for Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). These programs are becoming the main pathway for economic immigrants, allowing Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to distribute the benefits of immigration across the country.
DOES THIS JUST APPLY TO STUDENTS?
While international students are important for Canada’s future talent pool, the focus on in-demand skills is not limited to students but includes everyone who can contribute to key areas of the Canadian job market.
The category-based selections in Express Entry will continue, targeting workers with critical skills in sectors like healthcare and housing, which face ongoing job vacancies.
The government is also planning to raise awareness about support for newcomers in getting their credentials recognized, ensuring they’re well-prepared to use their in-demand skills in Canada.
A significant move indicating the emphasis on in-demand skills is the upcoming hiring of a Chief International Talent Officer (CITO). This new role will oversee Canadian immigration to ensure that newcomers align with Canada’s labor market needs and sectoral strategies. The person in this role will play a key part in deciding which skills and sectors will be targeted for future immigration.
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Immigrating to a new country is undoubtedly a life-changing and exciting prospect as it is filled with many exciting opportunities, including personal growth, professional development,