Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed that the first round of category-based draws for STEM professions will occur this week. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced the introduction of category-based selection draws for Express Entry candidates on May 31.
IRCC will prioritise Express Entry candidates with strong French language proficiency or work experience in specific fields.
The categories were selected considering labor market shortages, projections, and input from stakeholders. They include healthcare, STEM professions, trades (e.g., carpenters, plumbers, contractors), transport, and agriculture/agri-food, reflecting areas of focus for labor market needs in Canada.
Why were STEM occupations chosen?
According to a report released by Statistics Canada in late 2022, there exists a skills gap in Canada’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) labor force. This gap is primarily attributed to the increasing retirement rate of skilled workers and the rapid advancements in technology and automation across various industries.
By the end of 2022 Q4, the Professional, Scientific, and Technical services sector had a staggering 56,915 job vacancies in Canada. Recognizing the need to address this issue and capitalize on emerging opportunities, the 2023 Federal Budget proposes a $20 billion investment to support the development of major clean electricity and growth infrastructure projects. This investment is expected to create a surge in demand for workers in the technology sector.
Canada’s AI sector is also experiencing substantial growth, leading to an increased demand for tech workers. The country ranks fourth globally in terms of its competitiveness in AI innovation, implementation, and investment, as per the Global AI Index.
Moreover, many STEM occupations offer attractive salaries compared to other sectors. In 2021, the average compensation in the STEM sector was $90,252, significantly higher than the national average of $69,311. Additionally, as of the end of 2022 Q4, the average wage in the STEM sector stood at $35.80, more than double that of sectors such as accommodation and food services.
Here’s list of STEM professions
- Civil engineers
- Data scientists
- Engineer managers
- Land surveyors
- Mathematicians, statisticians, and actuaries
- Software developers and programmers
- Urban and land use planners
- Web developers and programmers
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