Public discussion has been growing over a report recently published by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). The report indicates a growing divide between the number of high-vacancy job fields in Canada and the skills of the Canadian workforce. To combat labour shortages, Canadian employers and government officials are increasingly looking beyond their own borders to find the employees they need. In addition, the government is taking ambitious efforts to secure skilled foreign workers, on temporary or permanent bases, to close employment gaps across the country.
In its report, CIBC targeted 25 professions that are most in need of qualified employees. They are as follows:
These occupations are all considered skilled work by the Government of Canada. In general, these professions fall in the fields of healthcare, mining, and manufacturing or business services. When added together, these fields account for 21%, or about one-fifth, of jobs in Canada.
Canada’s need for qualified workers varies greatly from province to province. As demonstrated by the chart below, the need is most defined in the country’s rapidly-developing interior. It is reflective of Canada’s booming natural resources economy.
Canadian employment is still on the rise. In fact, employment grew by 51,000 in February 2013 alone. However, despite these increases, the country is unable to fill shortages in the fields listed above with home-grown talent alone. Analysts have theorized that this lack of qualified Canadians is the result, in part, of individuals pursuing education and training in professions that are experiencing a labour surplus. These include occupations in the fields of clerical work, food services, recreational guides, personal services and sales. Due to this surplus, individuals in these fields may see greater unemployment as well as wages slightly below average.
By contrast, those who pursue employment in one of the above targeted professions have a high likelihood of employment. At present, unemployment in this pool is a mere 1%. Additionally, wages in these fields have been rising steadily at a rate of about 4% per year.
The Canadian government has made efforts to offset employee shortages through a forward-thinking immigration system. Individuals with the education and skills most needed in Canada will find that programs for both temporary and permanent residence have been tailored to suit their profiles. Some recent immigration changes intended to bring in the workers Canada include:
More than ever, Canada needs immigrants to fill the jobs that Canadians are unable to perform. These jobs are for the most part in well-paying fields with high wages and employment. Individuals with skills in these fields may find themselves well-placed to take advantage of Canada’s many options for temporary or permanent residency.
You can search for jobs in Canada with the Canadavisa Job Search Tool.
To find out if you are qualified for one of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment.