The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today the first-ever launch of category-based selection for Canada’s flagship economic immigration management system, Express Entry.
In the announcement, trucking was part of a select few occupations to be included. In practice, category-based selection will allow Canada to issue invitations to prospective permanent residents with specific skills, training or language ability, with transport truck drivers (NOC73300) being officially included as eligible.
In November of 2022, with CTA staff present, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser announced IRCCs implementation of the new National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 for immigration programs, paving the way for trucking’s entrance into the Express Entry programs.
“While we were very happy to see trucking included in the Express Entry Program last year, we also knew there was still work to be done on ensuring drivers were competitive within the program,” said Jon Blackham, CTA’s Director of Policy and Public Affairs. “So we put together what we thought was a compelling case for the trucking sector to be included in category-based selection and we are happy to see that reflected into today’s announcement.”
In late 2022, IRCC held a public consultation on enhancing Express Entry through category-based selection. CTA made a submission on behalf of the trucking industry in which a detailed business case was made for the inclusion of truck drivers (NOC 73300 – Transport Truck Drivers) to be included in the category-based selection system. As part of those discussions, CTA has also proposed longer term solutions, including those aimed at ensuring the industry has meaningful long-term access to the program.
“As IRCC and the Government of Canada know, the economy and the skills that are most needed to sustain it are changing,” said CTA chair Greg Munden. “We would like to extend our gratitude to Minister Fraser and IRCC for appreciating the essential role trucking plays in the supply chain and larger economy. This will pay dividends to all industries, sectors and consumers who rely on the trucking industry’s services.”
As the NOC system itself has changed to better categorize and recognize the true classification of occupations, Blackham says immigration programs like Express Entry will need to similarly adapt to ensure the most in-demand jobs, like truck drivers, are being prioritized and that the point system remains responsive and fair.
As today’s announcement notes, further details on the timing of invitations for individual categories and how to apply will be announced in the coming weeks by the Department. CTA will continue to work with officials on this file and will provide details to members on when and how they can access this program. As noted by Minister Fraser in today’s announcement, the first category-based invitations to apply are expected to be sent this summer.
CTA would also like to thank Ministers Alghabra, O’Regan and Qualtrough for supporting the trucking industry and for helping to raise awareness around the acute labour shortages the sector is facing.