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Canada Strives to Address Labor Market Gaps in STEM Occupations with Dedicated Express Entry Draws

The new STEM Category Express Entry draws help Canada meet labor shortages in STEM occupations.

The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) provides an in-depth analysis of job vacancy projections between 2022 and 2031. COPS is a tool by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) projecting occupation-wise job openings across various professions.

The following projections of new job openings under STEM occupations highlight the need to attract new immigrants with skilled experience in Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math occupations:

  • Computer programmers and interactive media developers- 80,500
  • Software engineers and designers- 44,300
  • Civil engineering- 26,100
  • Mechanical engineering- 12,700
  • Electronics and electrical engineering- 12,600
  • Tech occupations in physical sciences- 12,200
  • Mathematics, actuarial science, and statistics- 4,600
  • Industrial and manufacturing engineers- 3,800 

Canada’s STEM labor force is experiencing significant skill gaps because of a growing number of retirees, according to a 2022 report by Statistics Canada. 

The widening labor market gaps in STEM occupations highlight the emergence and widespread adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in diverse applications. The Global AI Index ranks Canada fourth for its global competitiveness in AI innovation, implementation, and investment.

The new STEM category-based Express Entry rounds of invitation target global skills to bridge the gaps in Canada’s STEM labor force. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship (IRCC) held the first category-based Express Entry invitation round for STEM occupations on July 5, 2023. The draw invited 500 candidates with CRS scores of 486 points and above.

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