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Attention Construction Workers: Canada Wants You

On December 10, 2012, the Federal Government announced a new Federal Skilled Trades Program. This program is designed specifically to address the acute labour shortages that Canada is facing for qualified tradespeople. According to the Canadian construction industry, Canada will need approximately 320,000 new tradespeople by 2020 and BC will need approximately 61,500 of those workers. There are currently not enough Canadians available to fill all of these positions and this has resulted in the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA), an organization acting on behalf of the BC construction industry, having to travel as far away as California and Ireland in order to recruit workers. In order to address the shortage, the BCCA has even developed its own program which matches qualified foreign tradespeople with available jobs in BC. As a result, the new Federal Skilled Trades Program is welcome news for the BCCA. It will help the BCCA with its recruitment efforts by creating an immigration stream designed specifically for tradespeople.

The current occupations that qualify under the federal program include electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics and pipefitters. More eligible occupations will be announced prior to the program launching on January 2, 2013. Citizenship and Immigration Canada will accept up to 3,000 applications under this program in 2013.

For the Federal Government announcement see:

For the construction industries’ views on the labour shortages see: and


Christopher Elgin has been a member of the British Columbia bar since January of 1988. He worked for the Immigration and Refugee Board as a legal advisor to the Board members for over three years and in 1993 he opened his own immigration law practice. In 1995, he joined forces with Douglas Cannon, another immigration…

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