February 8, 2023

Five new eligible occupations have been added to the Global Talent Stream program

The Canadian government's Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) recently announced an expansion of the list of eligible occupations for the Global Talent Stream (GTS) program. The GTS is a work permit program designed to help Canadian employers hire foreign skilled workers in the technology sector. The program offers expedited processing and a service standard of two weeks for work permits, which helps employers in the technology sector fill in-demand positions more efficiently.

The GTS program was previously open to 12 in-demand professions that were experiencing a shortage of labour supply in Canada. However, with the latest expansion, the list of eligible occupations has now grown to 17, with the addition of five engineering roles. These new positions include Civil Engineers (NOC code 21300), Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NOC code 21310), Mining Engineers (NOC code 21330), Aerospace Engineers (NOC code 21390), and Computer Engineers (except software engineers and designers, NOC code 21311).

The inclusion of these five new positions in the GTS list is a clear indication of the need for engineering labour in Canada. The country has been facing a shortage of skilled workers in various fields, and the government has been taking steps to address this issue. The GTS program is just one of the many initiatives that the Canadian government has taken to address labour shortages in certain industries.

This year has also seen a growing trend of targeting specific professions for immigration, to more directly address Canada’s labour market needs. The introduction of the New Brunswick Critical Worker Pilot (NBCWP), which works with six employers to directly address New Brunswick’s labour needs is one such example. The removal of barriers to permanent residence for physicians (amid historic labour shortages of healthcare workers) applying through Express Entry, is another. The approval of Bill C-19, which grants the immigration minister the power to create groups in the Express Entry pool (based on policy needs like in-demand positions) and issue invitations to apply (ITAs) to these groups is another example of the government trying to address the current labour need. Consequently, Express Entry will likely target occupations more in 2023.

As Canada continues to face high labour shortages and a growing class of retirees, in a post-COVID world, it seems likely the country will continue to address its economic requirements in a much more targeted way; as Canada has already identified immigration as the means by which to fulfill in-demand labour needs.

Employers looking to hire foreign talent through the GTS must properly prepare their applications and develop a Labour Markets Benefits Plan (LMBP) to demonstrate their commitment to having a lasting positive impact on the Canadian labour market. An immigration lawyer can greatly assist in this process to ensure completeness and compliance with program standards.

It's important to note that the GTS Program is for the technology sector employers, however, it is not the only way for employers in other sectors to bring the in-demand and skilled talent. Canada has a vast array of immigration programs that employers can use to attract and retain talent. Each program has its own set of requirements, so it's important to consult with an immigration expert to determine which program is the best fit for your company and employees.

In conclusion, the expansion of the GTS program by adding five new engineering roles to the list of eligible occupations demonstrates the Canadian government's commitment to addressing labor shortages in the technology sector. The targeted approach towards immigration and addressing specific labor needs of the country will help Canadian employers and the economy to grow. Employers in the technology sector looking to hire foreign talent should consult with an immigration expert to determine the best fit for their company and employees.


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