Immigrate To Canada As A Plumber: All You Need To Know

Immigrate To Canada As A Plumber: All You Need To Know
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Demand for internationally-trained plumbers is only expected to grow over the next eight years with hundreds of these Canada jobs already going begging for a lack of qualified workers.

That means the time is ripe for foreign nationals with these skills and work experience to gain their permanent residence in Canada through Express Entry programs occupation-targeted draws.

Under changes announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the end of May, the Express Entry streams, including the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as parts of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) will now be more responsive to labour market needs through occupation-targeted draws.

Plumber, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 72300, 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 plumbers in Canada. The Job Bank federal job-hunting and career-planning website listed 456 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, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Those four provinces together accounted for 389 positions, or 85.3 per cent of all these jobs, in early June.

There were then 217 jobs for plumbers in British Columbia listed on Job Bank and another 78 in Ontario as well as 49 in Alberta and 45 in Saskatchewan.

Quebec employers were then looking for 21 people to fill these kinds of jobs, Nova Scotia was looking for 15 plumbers, New Brunswick nine, Manitoba 12 and Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island one apiece.

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In early June, the Northwest Territories was looking for two plumbers.

Job Bank, the federal job-hunting and career-planning website, is forecasting a labour shortage of 2,400 plumbers across the country over the coming eight years.

“For plumbers, over the period 2022-2031, new job openings arising from expansion demand and replacement demand are expected to total 12,600, while 10,200 new job seekers arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility are expected to be available to fill them,” states Job Bank.

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In Canada, the median hourly wage for a plumber is $31 with that ranging from a low of $18 right up to $42.64, reveals Job Bank.

Based on a standard 37.5-hour work week, that would be $83,148 at the upper end of the annual wage scale for plumbers 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.

Immigration Minister Opens Up Express Entry To Target Occupations To Resolve Labour Shortages

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.”

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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.

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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.