Canada has announced it will conduct a first Express Entry draw aimed at the agriculture and agri-food sector this week.
Immigration Minister Marc Miller said on Wednesday that the draw targeting candidates with skills and experience in three occupations in the sector would take place.
Those jobs are agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and retail and wholesale butchers
Agriculture and Agri-Food
|Occupation||2021 NOC code||2021 TEER category|
|Contractors and supervisors, landscaping, grounds maintenance and horticulture services||82031||2|
|Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors||82030||2|
|Butchers- retail and wholesale||63201||3|
The sector is the final one on a list identified by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canad as having a level of labour shortages that needed to be tackled with occupation-specific draws.
Express Entry invitations have already targeted the other four sectors, namely:
- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions
- trades, such as carpenters, plumbers and contractors
The new draws have also targeted candidates with French language proficiency.
“By prioritizing the invitation of skilled newcomers with work experience in agriculture and agri-food jobs, Canada aims to meet increasing demand for talent and fill key positions that contribute to the advancement of the nation’s farming and food processing operations,” IRCC said.
Miller added: “Food security is top of mind for all Canadians, and our country is the fifth-largest exporter of agri-food and seafood on the planet.
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“That is why addressing labour shortages is crucial to maintain the sector’s ability to produce and process food at this scale for Canadians and export markets around the world.
“This is an exciting step toward welcoming more skilled farm and food workers to our country.”
Canada has now conducted the following draws this year:
- 16 all-program draws
- Four PNP draws
- Four draws targeted at French speakers
- Two draws targeted at healthcare occupations
- One draw targeted at STEM occupations
- One draw targeted at skilled trades
- One draw targeted at Federal Skilled Worker candidates
- One draw targeted at transport jobs
IRCC has now issued 85,448 ITAs in 2023 after inviting 45,115 candidates in the whole of 2022.
Canada also operates the Agri-Food Pilot, launched in 2020, providing a pathway to permanent residence for experienced, non-seasonal workers in specific industries and occupations.
IRCC has recently announced several changes to the Agri-Food Pilot, including an extension by two years until May 2025.