Category-Based Selection for Professionals in STEM Fields by IRCC

Canada Introduces Historic Express Entry Invitations for Skilled Newcomers in STEM Fields

The Canadian government has announced the second round of a category-based selection process aimed at addressing the shortage of skilled professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. As part of this initiative, they have announced the second round of selection specifically targeting newcomers with backgrounds in STEM.

To address worker shortages in vital sectors throughout Canada, immigration is being utilized to fill the gaps in the labor force. Minister Fraser recently introduced changes to the Express Entry system, including the implementation of category-based selection. These changes aim to meet labor needs that align with specific economic goals and enhance Francophone immigration by inviting candidates with relevant work experience or language skills to apply for permanent residence. The first round of this selection process, which prioritizes health workers, began on June 28.

On June 28, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, made an announcement on behalf of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Sean Fraser. The announcement stated that the second round of category-based selection, which specifically targets STEM candidates, will begin during the week of July 5.

“One of Canada’s greatest strengths is its ability to attract talent. This new STEM-focused category-based selection round will support our science and technology sector and its workforce, by attracting even more of the skilled talent that companies need to drive innovation and realize their growth potential. Combining its unparalleled ability to attract talent with the innovative capacity of its entrepreneurs, Canada is the best place in the world to start and scale a technology company.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

STEM rounds will focus on attracting individuals with expertise in fields such as data science, software development, mathematics, statistics, actuarial science, electrical engineering, and electronics engineering. By bringing in skilled talent in science and technology, Canada aims to support its science and technology sector, driving innovation and achieving growth potential for businesses.

Canada has been grappling with a significant shortage of employees possessing STEM skills, a persistent issue exacerbated by a competitive labor market and an increasing demand for digital-focused roles. According to a report by The C.D. Howe Institute, pre-pandemic data indicated that Canadian employers faced skill shortages across various domains, including basic digital skills (5 percent), computer science (16 percent), information technology (10 percent), and data science and analytics (14 percent). The demand for digital skills in digital-oriented positions alone surged by over 80 percent between February 2020 and November 2021, yet the supply has not kept up with this growth.

This announcement marks a significant milestone in Canada’s commitment to attracting top global talent and establishing itself as a leader in research, development, and innovation. The category-based selection process, which emphasizes candidates with STEM expertise, aligns with Canada’s commitment to welcoming in-demand professionals into communities across the country. It also builds upon the recent launch of the Tech Talent Attraction Strategy, reinforcing Canada’s position as an attractive destination for skilled professionals in the technology industry.

The continuous rounds of category-based selection will provide opportunities for skilled professionals to contribute to Canada’s science and technology sector, fostering innovation and achieving growth potential. Overall, these initiatives solidify Canada’s reputation as an appealing destination for skilled professionals, particularly in the technology industry.

The category-based selection rounds will continue throughout the year, with more details to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

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