Immigration Options for Skilled Tradespersons: The New Federal Skilled Trades Program

Skilled tradespersons currently make up less than three percent of all skilled workers entering Canada. In order to make immigration more accessible to people who meet Canada’s current and evolving economic needs, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will be launching a new Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP).

The new FSTP will be open to skilled tradespersons in the following National Occupational Classification B occupational areas: Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades (Major Group 72); Maintenance and Equipment Operation Trades (73); Supervisors and Technical Occupations in Natural Resources, Agriculture and Related Production (82); Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities Supervisors and Central Control Operators (92); as well as Chefs and Cooks (Minor Group 632), and Butchers and Bakers (633).

The program is designed as a streamlined pass/fail model, with criteria reflective of the education and training pathways in trade occupations. It is intended to be indicative of a skilled tradesperson’s ability to work in his/her trade in Canada. The FSTP applicants will be required to have:

  1. either an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a provincial or territorial authority in his/her skilled trade;
  2. a language test demonstrating proficiency in an official language;
  3. two years of work experience as a qualified skilled tradesperson in that trade; and
  4. met the Canadian employment requirements for that occupation, as described in the National Occupational Classification system.

Details of the proposed program were pre-published in the Canada Gazette for public consultation in August 2012. It is expected that the program will come into effect in early 2013. Information will be made available thereafter on eligible occupations and intake levels for the program.

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