October 18, 2023

Express Entry Draws: Top Job Categories

In a recent announcement by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser, the Canadian government unveiled its plans to introduce category-based Express Entry draws this summer. These draws will run parallel to the general and program-specific draws and are intended to invite highly skilled candidates with strong French proficiency or work experience in specific fields. This comprehensive article aims to delve into the selected categories, and the rationale behind their selection, and provide a detailed overview of job vacancies in each category. We will also explore the distribution of vacancies across provinces and territories, based on the latest Statistics Canada data from the fourth quarter of 2022.


Understanding the Selection Process:

The decision to focus on specific categories in the category-based draws was not arbitrary. In fact, it was the result of extensive consultations and collaborations between the Immigration Minister, provinces, territories, unions, employers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners. By engaging these diverse stakeholders, the government aimed to identify categories that could effectively address labor shortages and fill vacant positions across the country.


Healthcare: Fulfilling Vital Roles

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for healthcare professionals in Canada. As a response, the healthcare and social assistance category has experienced a substantial surge in job vacancies. Recognizing the reliance on immigration to meet this demand, the Canadian government is taking steps to facilitate the immigration process for foreign-trained healthcare workers. In the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, there were a staggering 143,695 job vacancies in the healthcare and social assistance category. Ontario and Quebec emerged as the provinces with the highest number of vacancies, emphasizing the opportunities available in these regions.


STEM Professions: Bridging the Skills Gap

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions are in high demand across Canada. The retiring workforce, coupled with advancements in technology, has created a significant skills gap in the labor force. This has led to an increased emphasis on attracting skilled workers in STEM fields. In the fourth quarter of 2022, there were 56,915 job vacancies in the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services category. Ontario and Quebec stood out as the provinces with the most job vacancies in STEM professions, indicating the robust opportunities available in these regions.


Trades: Honoring Craftsmanship

The trades category encompasses both wholesale and retail trades. Wholesale trades had 30,930 job vacancies, while retail trades recorded a substantial 108,795 vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2022. Ontario and Quebec showcased the highest number of vacancies in both sectors, highlighting the demand for skilled trade professionals in these provinces. The trades sector continues to offer diverse and rewarding career paths for individuals with specialized skills.


Transport: Keeping Canada Connected

The transportation and warehousing sector, with 43,700 job vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2022, plays a vital role in keeping the nation connected. Although the job vacancy rate in this sector has seen a decline since the beginning of 2021, there are still abundant opportunities available. Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec emerged as the provinces with the most job vacancies in the transport sector, offering prospects for individuals with expertise in logistics and transportation.


Agriculture and Agri-food: Nurturing the Land

The Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting category demonstrated a job vacancy rate of 10,535 or 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022. Although the vacancy rate has declined since 2021, it remains a crucial sector with opportunities for skilled workers. Ontario and British Columbia presented the highest number of job vacancies in this category, emphasizing the demand for professionals with agricultural expertise.


Bridging Opportunities and Talent

The implementation of category-based Express Entry draws reflects the Canadian government's commitment to attracting and retaining highly skilled professionals across various sectors. By inviting skilled workers in healthcare, STEM professions, trades, transport, and agriculture, the government aims to address labor shortages and fill vacant positions throughout the country. The chosen categories were selected through extensive consultations with stakeholders, ensuring a strategic approach to meeting the nation's evolving employment needs. As these draws commence in the coming months, eligible candidates can embark on a pathway to Canadian permanent residence, leveraging the wealth of job opportunities available in their respective fields and regions.


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