Critical Construction Worker Pilot Launched By Nova Scotia

Business Groups Tell IRCC To Let In More Construction Trades Helpers
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Nova Scotia is launching a new Critical Construction Worker Pilot to help the construction industry find the workers it needs to make up for labour shortages in 21 occupations.

Those construction industry occupations and their corresponding National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system codes are:

70010 Construction managers

70011 Home building and renovation managers

72011 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations

72014 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers

72020 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades72106 Welders and related machine operators

72200 Electricians (except industrial and power system)

72201 Industrial electricians

72310 Carpenters

72320 Bricklayers

72401 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics

72402 Heating, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics

72500 Crane operators

73100 Concrete finishers

73102 Plasterers, drywall installers and finishers and lathers

73110 Roofers and shinglers

73200 Residential and commercial installers and servicers

73400 Heavy equipment operators

75101 Material handlers

75110 Construction trades helpers and labourers

75119 Other trades helpers and labourers

The new pathway to permanent residence in Nova Scotia is open to those who:

  • have a full-time permanent job offer from a Nova Scotia employer in one of the eligible occupations;
  • have one year of work experience related to the job;
  • hold a high school diploma or proof they have completed a construction-specific industry training program;
  • are 21 to 55 years old;
  • can prove language ability equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 5 (NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, 3) or CLB Level 4 (NOC TEER 4 and 5) even if their first language is English or French, and;
  • show enough financial resources to successfully settle in Nova Scotia.

Earlier this year, construction industry insiders reportedly told CTV News the sector is having serious trouble finding the workers it needs in Nova Scotia. Construction firms in the province are often finding themselves scrambling to find the needed workers when materials arrive late and the workflow is re-arranged.

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Construction Firms Struggling To Get Workers To Complete Projects

“Some projects are revisiting design to see how [they] can maximize the current available last skillsets for the projects coming up,” Trent Soholt, the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council’s executive director, reportedly told CTV News.

“So every project is faced with its own unique sort of motivation as to what’s going to get it done.”

The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals Nova Scotia welcomed 12,655 new permanent residents last year and another 8,375 in the first eight months of this year. That puts the province on track to receive the same amount again in 2023.

Bullish on immigration, Nova Scotia is adding new pathways to permanent residency to grow its population.


In 2021, Nova Scotia immigration  launched a new Provincial Nominee Program stream targeting international graduates, the International Graduates In Demand stream of the Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP).

It is open to workers with permanent job offers in one of two National Occupational Classification codes:

  • NOC 3413 – Nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates, and;
  • NOC 4214 – Early childhood educators and assistants.

As well as a job offer from a Nova Scotia employer that corresponds with their fields of study, international graduates must also have completed at least half of their courses in the Atlantic province.

The NSNP has a total of nine different streams with a target processing time for applications of three months.

Nova Scotia’s Provincial Nominee Program Has Nine Streams For Permanent Residency

The nine streams are:

  • Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry;
  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: Express Entry;
  • Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities For Physicians: Express Entry;
  • Skilled Worker;
  • Physician;
  • Occupations In Demand;
  • International Graduates In Demand;
  • Entrepreneur, and;
  • International Graduate Entrepreneur.

Nova Scotia also operates the Study and Stay program which is aimed at helping international students from China, India and the Philippines stay and build careers in the region after they graduate.

Under the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream, highly-skilled immigrants with experience in Nova Scotia can apply for permanent residency if they have one year of experience in a NOC O, A or B position.

The Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities: Express Entry stream is designed to allow the province to single out specific occupations for immigration. The stream targets occupations for Letters of Interest, with Early Childhood Educators the first focus job.

Physicians, including specialists and family physicians, with profiles in the Express Entry pool can apply for permanent residency through the Nova Scotia Labour Market Priorities For Physicians: Express Entry stream.

Physicians Have A Choice Of Streams To Immigrate To Nova Scotia

Another stream for physicians, the Nova Scotia Physician Stream, is similar. It assists the province’s public health system hire general practitioners, family physicians, and specialist physicians. It is designed to help recruit and retain doctors for positions the province has been unable to fill with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

The employer-driven Skilled Worker stream is aimed at foreign workers and international graduates. Employers who have been unable to fill positions with Canadian citizens or permanent residents can access the stream after receiving a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Nova Scotia’s Occupations in Demand Pilot targets intermediate-skilled jobs in high demand in the province. The target occupations are subject to change depending on labour market demand. It specifically targets jobs under NOC C.

That list on In-Demand Occupations in Nova Scotia includes:

33102 Nurse Aides

65200 Food and beverage servers

65201 Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations

65310 Light duty cleaners

73300 Transport truck drivers

73400 Heavy equipment operators

75110 Construction trades helpers and labourers

The seventh stream is the International Graduates in Demand one introduced in 2021.

The last two steams are designed to promote the growth of new businesses in Nova Scotia.

Under the Nova Scotia Entrepreneur stream, foreign nationals with business ownership or senior management experience who live in Nova Scotia can either start a new business or buy an existing business to gain permanent residency.

Applicants are first issued a temporary Work Permit before applying for permanent residence after operating the business for a year. The stream uses an Expression of Interest format, where candidates in a pool are invited to apply.

The other stream to gain permanent residence by operating a business is the International Graduate Entrepreneur stream.

It is aimed at recent graduates from a Nova Scotia university or the Nova Scotia Community College. They must have started or purchased a Nova Scotia business and operated it for a year on a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.