In the next eight years, thousands of Canada jobs for carpenters are expected to be available, providing opportunities for foreign nationals with these skills and work experience to gain their permanent residence in Canada through Express Entry programs.
Under the changes announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the end of May, the Express Entry stream will now be more responsive to labour market needs through occupation-targeted draws.
Carpenter, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 72310, is one of the 82 occupations that will now be targeted under these new Express Entry draws.
Already, there are a lot of opportunities for carpenters in Canada. The Job Bank federal job-hunting and career-planning website listed 1,683 such jobs up for grabs in early June.
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The greatest demand for carpenters at that time was in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. Those three provinces together accounted for 1,426 positions, or 84.7 per cent of all these jobs, in early June.
There were then 820 jobs for carpenters in British Columbia listed on Job Bank and another 377 in Ontario as well as 229 in Alberta.
Saskatchewan employers were then looking for 65 people to fill these kinds of jobs, Quebec was looking for 57 carpenters, Nova Scotia 39, Manitoba 36 and New Brunswick 29.
Newfoundland and Labrador employers were looking for 12 carpenters in early June and there were six openings for carpenters on Prince Edward Island.
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Carpenters are in such demand that there were even jobs in the relatively sparsely-populated territories, with three openings for carpenters in the Yukon, one in Nunavut and two in the Northwest Territories.
In the coming years, that demand is only expected to grow and lead to a shortfall of 5,100 workers to fill these positions by 2031.
“For carpenters, over the period 2022-2031, new job openings arising from expansion demand and replacement demand are expected to total 37,900, while 32,800 new job seekers arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility are expected to be available to fill them,” forecasts Job Bank.
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In Canada, the median hourly wage for a carpenter is $30 with that ranging from a low of $19 right up to $40.51, reveals Job Bank.
Based on a standard 37.5-hour work week, that would be $78,994 at the upper end of the annual wage scale for carpenters in Canada.
Until this year, the flagship Express Entry selection system has previously only conducted draws based on immigration programs, not by targeting specific occupations.
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Candidates will need at least six months of continuous work experience in Canada or abroad within the past three years in one of these occupations to be eligible, experience that can have been gained while working in Canada as temporary foreign workers with a work permits or as an international student with a student visa.
“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”
Canada first signalled its intention to start occupation-specific draws through Express Entry in June last year, when changes were made to the Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act to allow invitations based on occupations and other attributes, such as language ability.
The majority of Canada’s provinces have been issuing occupation-specific invitations for several years.
Under the changes to the act, the immigration minister is required to consult provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners, before announcing new categories.
IRCC must also report to parliament each year on the categories that were chosen and the reason for the choices.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) says the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021. From 2018 to 2022, federal high skilled admissions accounted for between 34 and 40 per cent of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec, which manages its own immigration intake.