Canada jobs as audiologists and speech language pathologists are already in short supply but are set to grow over the next eight years despite record-breaking levels of immigration.
Under the changes announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the end of May, Express Entry will now be more responsive to labour market needs through occupation-targeted draws.
“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.
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“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 is currently welcoming record numbers of immigrants but Job Bank is still forecasting a shortfall of hundreds of audiologists and speech language pathologists to fill the available jobs in the coming years.
“Key labour market indicators such as job vacancies and employment growth as well as the unemployment rate suggest that the demand exceeded substantially the supply in this occupational group over the 2019-2021 period,” reports Job Bank.
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“For audiologists and speech-language pathologists, over the period 2022-2031, new job openings arising from expansion demand and replacement demand are expected to total 6,400 while 6,200 new job seekers arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility are expected to be available to fill them.
“The labour shortage conditions seen in recent years is expected to persist into the 2022 – 2031 period.”
Audiologist and speech language pathologist, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 31112, is one of the 82 occupations that will now be targeted under these new Express Entry draws.
That opens up opportunities for foreign nationals to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system if they can land any of the 137 jobs available for audiologists and speech language pathologists in Canada in early June – or any future such jobs that may open up.
Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec all crying out for audiologists
The greatest demand for audiologists and speech language pathologists in the spring of this year was in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Those three provinces together accounted for 89, or almost 65 per cent of all these jobs, in early June.
There were then 40 jobs for audiologists and speech language pathologists in Ontario listed on Job Bank and another 30 in British Columbia as well as 19 in Quebec. Alberta’s healthcare sector employers were then looking for 13 people to fill these kinds of jobs.
In the Atlantic Canadian province of New Brunswick, there were 11 jobs posted for audiologists and speech language pathologists. There were five such jobs in Manitoba, nine in Saskatchewan and one in the Yukon.
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In Canada, the median hourly wage for audiologists and speech language pathologists is $44 with median hourly wages ranging from a low of $30.22 per hour right up to $52.45, reveals Job Bank.
Based on a standard 37.5-hour work week, that would be $102,277 at the upper end of the annual wage scale for audiologists and speech language pathologists 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.
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.
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.