Canada immigration: Thousands of new positions open

Changes announced to Federal Skilled Trades Programme and Canadian Experience Class

Canada will accept 5,000 applications under the Federal Skilled Trades Programme (FSTP), and 8,000 applications under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), starting from May 1, 2014.

This was announced by the Canadian Government last week when it released its plans for three of Canada’s most popular immigration programmes for the coming year. (For the new rules of the Federal Skilled Workers Programme (FSWP), read: Canada immigration alert: 25,000 to be accepted this year.

What is FSTP?

The FSTP was launched last year to target migrants that are valuable for their practical skills rather than educational credentials, as is the case with the popular FSWP.

The new rules laud an increase in opportunities for the target group, as the number of occupations determining eligibility of the applicant has almost doubled. Under the new programme, all NOC B level trades are eligible, amounting to a total of 90 different occupations. Previously, the list included 43 priority occupations and 17 occupations with a moderate labour demand.

As of May 1, a total of 5,000 applications will be accepted, another surge compared to the 3,000 application threshold in the previous programme year. A threshold of 100 applications is applied to all occupations. The 90 occupations have been categorised in 6 main groups:

Major Group 72: Industrial, electrical and construction trades;

Major Group 73: Maintenance and equipment operation trades;

Major Group 82: Supervisors and technical occupations in national resources, agriculture and related production;

Major Group 92: Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators;

Minor Group 632: chefs and cooks;

Minor Group 633: butchers and bakers

What is CEC?

The Canada Experience Class (CEC) program was created for individuals who have already gained skilled work experience in Canada. Based on this experience, these individuals can apply for a permanent residency.

In November last year, the Canadian Government announced positive changes to the programme, with a heightened intake cap and more occupation without an intake threshold on the occupation list.

However, May 1 marks the start of a renewed programme with an even higher intake cap, promising the intake of 8000 applications. Furthermore, any skilled occupation is eligible under the new programme.

However, the programme distinguishes between different levels of occupations, based on Canada’s National Occupation Classification (NOC) index. Whereas no intake cap applies to NOC levels A and 0, which are managerial and professional in nature, an intake cap of 100 applications applies to NOC B level occupations, which are generally technical, administrative, or skilled trades.

*The following six occupations are not eligible to apply under the CEC:

Administrative officers (NOC 1221)

Administrative assistants (1241)

Accounting technicians/bookkeepers (1311)

Cooks (6322)

Food service supervisors (6311)

Retail sales supervisors (6211)

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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