Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Canada's new "skilled trade" immigration program

Downtown Vancouver Sunset
Vancouver, Canada. I've been there and it's lovely.
Photo by Magnus Larsson
If you have at least two years of experience in a skilled trade, such welding, pipe fitting, plumbing, and other trades, Canada wants you to immigrate.

Prior to the economic collapse, many Canadian banks were upset that the Canadian government didn't allow them to pursue the "easy money" that many deregulated banks in the US and other countries were getting. By having a strictly regulated banking industry that was not, amongst other things, allowed to give out tons of loans to people who could not pay them off, Canadian banks missed out on the financial windfall that many world banks were experiencing.

It also means that Canadian banks missed out on the collapse of much of the world banking industry. Canadian unemployment since 1980 has generally been higher than that of the US, but in 2008, the roles were reversed and Canada's unemployment has been much lower than that of the US.

Today, however, many Canadian businesses are facing a shortage of tradespeople for their oil and gas industry and the government has responded. The migrationbureau.com Web site lists the basic qualifications for the new program:
  1. have an offer of employment in Canada or a certificate of qualification from a province or territory to ensure that applicants are “job ready” upon arrival;
  2. meet a basic language requirement;
  3. have a minimum of two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson, to ensure that the applicant has recent and relevant practice as a qualified journeyman; and
  4. have the skills and experience that match those set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC B) system, showing that they have performed the essential duties of the occupation.   In order to manage intake, avoid backlogs and ensure fast processing times, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will accept up to a maximum of 3,000 applications in the first year of the Federal Skilled Trades Program. 
Oh, and Canadian single payer health care is awesome!
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