This week Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published NOC 2021 and added 16 new occupations to the list of eligible professions Express Entry. Truck driving is among them due to significant labor shortages within the sector. NOC 2021 is a revision of Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.
Shortage of truck drivers
The industry is facing an acute shortage of skilled labor due to several factors, including layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a high rate of retirement. According to 2021 Labor Market Snapshot by Trucking HR Canadathere were 18,000 job openings in the trucking sector in Canada in the second quarter of 2021.
Trucking is a vital component of Canada’s supply chain and has a major impact on the national economy when there are disruptions and labor shortages.
The report says that in Canada, the trucking and logistics industry moves over $850 billion in products to domestic and export markets. Even before the start of the global pandemic, the Forest Products Association of Canada estimated that the shortage of truck drivers cost the industry about $450 million in lost productivity.
Coming to Canada through Express Entry
Express Entry programs are the most prominent immigration pathways for skilled workers. It is an application management system that works with three economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), to speed up the processing of applications for permanent residence for skilled workers
How does an NOC affect an Express Entry application?
The NOC enables IRCC to understand what a person’s occupation is and the level of skills or experience required. NOC 2016 emphasized whether the role was NOC 0, A or B (management to skilled trades). NOC 2021 has instead introduced a system based on a candidate’s training, education, experience and responsibility (TEER).
Applying for Express Entry
To begin with, a potential candidate must self-assess whether they are eligible for one Express Entry program.
They must then complete a language assessment and obtain the necessary Educational Credential Assessments. Once these are completed, the next step is to upload a profile to the IRCC website and wait for a decision. Express Entry uses a points-based system, the Comprehensive ranking system (CRS), to rank candidate profiles. Your profile will be assigned a score and ranked alongside all other candidates in the pool.
After the candidate has applied, IRCC reviews the application and decides whether the candidate is approved.
The top-scoring candidates receive one Invitation to apply (ITA) and can then apply for permanent residence. Once a candidate receives an ITA, they have 60 days to submit a final application to IRCC.
IRCC attempts to process 80% of all Express Entry applications within six months of receiving the final application.
Federal Skilled Worker Program
That FSWP is the most popular program under Express Entry for candidates applying from abroad. It is designed for skilled workers who meet certain requirements in language, work experience and education obtained abroad.
The minimum requirements are one year of work experience, a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7, proof of funds and proof of education. You must also score at least 67/100 on the FSWP point grid.
Canadian Experience Class
CEC is specific for those who have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canadaachieved within the last three years.
They must also meet a minimum CLB of 5 (“initial intermediate”) for NOC TEER category 2 or 3 jobs or CLB 7 (“adequate intermediate proficiency”) for NOC TEER category 0 or 1 jobs.
Changes are coming to Express Entry
Last year, Bill C-19 received Royal Assent in the Parliament of Canada. The new bill empowers IRCC to invite Express Entry candidates based on individual factors such as their language ability or work experience to better fill the nearly one million job vacancies in Canada. The process of how these groups will be identified and selected has not yet been finalized.
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