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Express entry immigration system for “skilled workers” starts Jan. 1

Only ‘highest ranking candidates’ will be asked to apply

By Susana Mas, CBC News Posted: Nov 21, 2014 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 21, 2014 6:21 PM ET

The federal government’s consultations on a new immigration system to give skilled workers “express entry” into Canada starting Jan. 1 included a nine-member group representing some of Canada’s biggest employers — and at least two of those groups say they are taking a wait-and-see approach on the new system.

Skilled immigrants recruited in 50 occupations ahead of ‘express entry’ launch

Under the new online express entry system, skilled immigrants will be matched with vacant jobs in at least 50  occupations based on “scores that reflect their human capital and ability to succeed in the Canadian economy.”

Only the “highest ranking candidates” will be invited to apply for permanent residency and applications will be processed in six months or less.

The nine-member group being consulted includes the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, the Canadian Construction Association and the Information and Communication Technology Council.

The government confirmed on Friday the other five groups represented on the panel are:

  • Canadian Restaurants and Foodservices Association.
  • The Immigrant Employment Council of B.C.
  • Irving Shipbuilding.
  • Oilsands producer Syncrude Canada.
  • Hylife Ltd., a global hog producer based in Manitoba.

The nine-member group was established in 2013 to provide the Department of Citizenship and Immigration with “input on the development and implementation of Express Entry,” a posting in the Canada Gazette said.

Sarah Anson-Cartwright, director of skills policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, said employers support the new system, because it will allow businesses to fill jobs where Canadians are not available.

“The idea is that more and more applicants will be coming in with that job offer already in hand,” Anson-Cartwright said in a telephone interview with CBC News on Thursday.

A few more details about the express program were revealed by the government this week:

  • There will be no more paper applications, except for people with disabilities.
  • The government anticipates the number of requests for paper applications to be “extremely low.”
  • The move to electronic filing is expected to cost the government $6.7 million over 10 years (2015-2024.)
  • The Canada Gazette didn’t say how much money the government will save by going paperless, but said “no known opposition to this proposal exists.”

Kevin Menard, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, told CBC News on Friday that officials have consulted with hundreds of businesses from various sectors of the economy in every region of the country.

Doesn’t address low-skilled workers

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which represents roughly 109,000 small businesses, has traditionally supported the Conservative government’s business-friendly proposals, but it criticized the tightening of rules around temporary foreign workers.

‘It still prohibits lower-skilled workers from coming to Canada and taking the jobs that are going begging.’– Dan Kelly, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Dan Kelly, chief executive of the CFIB, told CBC News his group is “a big fan” of the new system, except for the fact that “it will do zero” for employers looking to fill low-wage or low-skilled jobs.

“That is our criticism of the express entry system, that it still prohibits lower-skilled workers from coming to Canada and taking the jobs that are going begging in our economy,” Kelly said in a telephone interview Thursday.

“Decades ago, when many of our ancestors came to Canada … they didn’t come to Canada to take jobs in a lab,” Kelly said. “They came to work on a farm.”

Alexander has said the new express entry system will transform the way Canada has been accepting skilled immigrants for the last generation.

The chamber’s Anson-Cartwright said that while the government has given employers a first-hand look at the new online system, it will be some time before businesses can say how well the system works at matching skilled immigrants with open jobs.

‘The big uncertainty’

“The reality is, until we actually have employers experiencing the process, we don’t really know — and neither does the government — how well it will work,” she said.

Employers will not have the same “privileged access” as the provinces and territories, she added.

The provinces will have the option to search the express entry pool, while employers will have to rely on the government to identify potential workers.

“You’d rather see more detail and have a chance to make your own assessment, rather than waiting on individuals to pop up through virtue of how they’ve designed the job system.

“That’s the big uncertainty is how this job-matching system will actually work,” Anson-Cartwright said.

The government will welcome 260,000 to 285,000 new permanent residents to Canada in 2015.



Fast Track High Demand Occupations – Federal Skilled Worker Class


Eligible High Demand Occupations:

  • 0013 Senior managers – financial, communications and other business services
  • 0015 Senior managers – trade, broadcasting and other services, n.e.c
  • 0111 Financial managers
  • 0112 Human resource managers
  • 0113 Purchasing managers
  • 0121 Insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers
  • 0311 Managers in health care
  • 0711 Construction managers
  • 0712 Home building and renovation managers
  • 0811 Managers in natural resources production and fishing
  • 0911 Manufacturing managers
  • 1111 Financial auditors and accountants
  • 1112 Financial and investment analysts
  • 1113 Securities agents, investment dealers and brokers
  • 1114 Other financial officers
  • 1123 Professional occupations in advertising, marketing and public relations
  • 1212 Supervisors, finance and insurance office workers
  • 1224 Property administrators
  • 2113 Geoscientists and oceanographers
  • 2131 Civil engineers
  • 2132 Mechanical engineers
  • 2133 Electrical and electronics engineers
  • 2145 Petroleum engineers
  • 2171 Information systems analysts and consultants
  • 2172 Database analysts and data administrators
  • 2173 Software engineers and designers
  • 2174 Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2232 Mechanical engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2234 Construction estimators
  • 2241 Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2243 Industrial instrument technicians and mechanics
  • 2263 Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety
  • 2281 Computer network technicians
  • 3011 Nursing co-coordinators and supervisors
  • 3012 Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 3111 Specialty physicians
  • 3112 General practitioners and family physicians
  • 3132 Dietitians and nutritionists
  • 3141 Audiologists and speech-language pathologists
  • 3142 Physiotherapists
  • 3143 Occupational therapists
  • 3214 Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 3215 Medical radiation technologists
  • 3216 Medical sonographers
  • 3233 Licensed practical nurses
  • 3234 Paramedical occupations
  • 4011 University professors and lecturers
  • 4151 Psychologists
  • 4214 Early childhood educators and assistants
  • 5125 Translators, terminologists and interpreters

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