The Federal Skilled Trades program
The Federal Skilled Trades program
Employment opportunities have been increasing steadily along with the economy, and it is this economic growth that prompted the development of the Skilled Trades Program. Canada has a distinct shortage of people who are qualified in specific trades, and the growing economy means expansion and building, which requires people skilled in trades. In particular there is a shortage in construction, transportation, manufacturing and service industries and the program was implemented to address this shortage and to attract and keep skilled workers in Canada.
Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program Eligibility
There are a variety of different factors that affect an applicant’s eligibility for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Skilled Trade Program applicants are assessed on their predicted ability to establish themselves in Canada economically.
The applicant must have at least 24 months of full-time experience (30+ hours per week) in the particular trade in the five years prior to the application being lodged. Part-time work that adds up to two years of full-time work also meets the requirements. This can be 24 months of working more than one job for a total of 30 hours/week, or a longer duration of part-time work (15+ hours each week) totalling 3,120 hours over a two-year period.
Applicants who wish to reside in Canada through the Skilled Trades Program must demonstrate that they have at least an intermediate grasp of either English or French. This can be done by taking a test through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) for English, or the Test d’Evaluation de Francais (TEF) for French. The applicant will be tested on all four parts of the chosen language: speaking, reading, listening and writing. The prospective immigrant needs to score above the minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) points in order to be found eligible for Federal Skilled Trades Class immigration.
- For IELTS, the 2018 Federal Skilled Trades Program Canada requires CLB 5 for speaking (5.0+) and listening (5.0+), and CLB 4 for reading (3.5+) and writing (4.0+)
- For CELPI, the Federal Skilled Trades Program 2018 requires CLB 5 for speaking (5+) and listening (5+), and CLB for reading (4+) and writing (4+)
- For TEF, the 2018 Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program requires NCLC 5 for speaking (226+) and listening (181+), and NCLC 4 for reading (121+) and writing (181+)
Please note: all language testing must be completed with an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approved agency.
Permanent Job Offer or Skilled Trade Qualification
In the case of a permanent job offer, the applicant must be able to supply proof that they have been offered a full-time job in Canada that adds up to 30 hours a week or more. This can also be applicable to two part-time job offers that will cover 30 hours a week.
If the applicant is qualified and holds a certification in their particular skilled trade, they do not necessarily need a job offer. Instead, the applicant needs to get hold of the regulatory body in the province or territory in which they intend to work, and through this provincial or territorial organization get their skilled trade qualifications certified.
Please note: it is likely that the applicant will have to travel to the province or area in which they wish to reside to get the certification done.
Satisfy Job Requirements
An applicant must be able to meet the requirements of one of the employment opportunities that is offered in the Federal Skilled Trades Program. There is a list of the possible jobs for applicants, and failure to meet either the relative certification or training for one of these jobs will result in failure to work in Canada through the program.
Work Outside Quebec
Quebec has its own skilled immigration program called the Quebec Skilled Trades Program, therefore prospective immigrants who are qualified in a skilled trade and wish to work and settle in Quebec are not able to got through the Federal Skilled Trades Program and must instead apply to the relevant authorities in Quebec. The Federal Skilled Trades Program is only for prospective immigrants who wish to live and work in British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), Saskatchewan (SK), Manitoba (MB), Ontario (ON), New Brunswick (NB), Nova Scotia (NS), Prince Edward Island (PEI), Newfoundland (NL), or any of the Canadian territories.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Canada Federal Skilled Trades Program applications must be made using an NOC 2011 code. If your application is made using an NOC 2006 code, it must also include a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which was previously known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). Regardless of which set of NOC codes you reference, your occupation must still correspond to an eligible 2011 NOC code in order for your CIC Express Entry Skilled Trades Canada application to be successful. Although the Skilled Trades Canada Program has no education requirement, potential immigrants can earn additional Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points in Express Entry by submitting their educational credentials. A Canadian post-secondary diploma or degree, or an equivalent foreign certificate combined with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) can increase a person’s chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) within the Express Entry system.