Canada’s Fastest Growing Industries Attracting Newcomers

Canada, globally recognized for its economic stability and strength, has remarkably recovered in numerous sectors following the pandemic.

Many of these sectors are rapidly expanding, contributing to the nation’s economic prosperity. A significant factor in this growth is Canada’s ambitious immigration objectives.

As per the Immigration Levels Plan for 2023-2025, Canada aims to welcome half a million immigrants annually by the end of 2025. With nearly a quarter of Canada’s population of over 39 million immigrants, newcomers are ideally positioned to fill roles in the national workforce, particularly in sectors facing many retirements or a lack of qualified candidates.

Healthcare: A Sector in Need of Talent

With Canadians living longer, the demand for medical care over extended periods has increased compared to previous generations. This surge in demand has led to a significant need for healthcare professionals from abroad.

At present, immigrants make up a substantial portion of Canada’s healthcare workforce, with over 35% of physicians, 23% of registered nurses, and 39% of dentists being immigrants.

As of February 2023, the healthcare industry had the highest job vacancies across all sectors, with 143,800 positions available. The nursing sector was particularly impacted during the pandemic, leading to many nurses requiring extended leave or leaving the profession altogether.

To address this, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been making it easier for healthcare workers to become permanent residents, such as removing some of the barriers for physicians previously considered to be self-employed.

Agriculture: A Sector with a Growing Demand for Workers

Canada’s agriculture sector employs over 243,000 Canadians and has a job vacancy rate of more than 14,000. A recent report by the Royal Bank of Canada indicates that by 2033, 40% of Canadian farm operators will retire.

The report suggests that Canada must accept 30,000 permanent immigrants over the next decade to offset this impending skills crisis.

These immigrants would establish their farms and greenhouses or take over existing ones, thereby ensuring the continued growth and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Tech: A Sector Experiencing Rapid Expansion

The federal budget for 2023 included a significant investment of $20 billion to support the construction of major clean electricity and clean growth infrastructure projects.

This investment is expected to lead to increased demand in the tech sector. Additionally, the growth of the AI sector plays a crucial role in Canada’s demand for tech workers.

Canada boasts 1,032 AI and machine learning companies, and according to the Global AI Index, Canada ranks 4th for its global competitiveness in AI implementation, innovation, and investment.

Immigration Programs Supporting the Growth of These Sectors

To support these burgeoning sectors, Canada offers various immigration programs. Many healthcare workers arrive in Canada through an Express Entry program, which targets high-skilled candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, or the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Additionally, because healthcare is a provincial responsibility, most provinces have streams for healthcare workers under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

To fill positions in the agriculture sector, IRCC recently announced that it is extending the Agri-Food Pilot Program and removing occupational caps. Eligible occupations include retail butchers, industrial butchers, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers, food processing labourers, general farm workers, and harvesting labourers.

For tech workers, IRCC offers programs like the Global Talent Stream, which is part of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and is designed to encourage the growth of Canada’s tech industry. The program aims to achieve a processing standard of two weeks once the potential employee submits the final application. There are also targeted draws through the Provincial Nominee Program. Some examples of provincial tech streams include the BC Tech Stream, OINP Tech Draw, Saskatchewan Tech Talent Pathway, and the Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway.

Image Credits: Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

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