Transport professions are one of the five sectors prioritized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for Express Entry category-based draws in 2023.

To better leverage immigrants to solve labor market deficiencies in certain Canadian sectors, the federal government began carrying out category-based draws – in addition to conventional ones through the Express Entry application management system in June of this year.

The IRCC’s inaugural category-based Express Entry lottery was held on June 28, and there have been a total of four subsequent category-based draws since then, as of the time of reporting. The latest installment of the Express Entry category-based lottery for these five occupational categories was held on September 20, 2023.

Why Were Transportation Occupations Selected As A Designated Express Entry Category?

A September 2023 Toronto Star piece mentions a survey that indicates Canada’s trucker shortages could present a “substantial” risk to the nation’s economy, despite the fact that truck drivers are only one occupation within this sector of the economy.

In the words of the study, “a lack of truckers leads to delays in delivery and bare shelves.” This is said to be a major contributor to rising commodity costs across the country as a whole.

In recognition of this fact, it is important to point out the following quote from a 2020 research co-developed by Trucking HR Canada and the Conference Board of Canada: “Canada’s truck driver deficit… doubled in just four years [between 2016 and 2020].”

Given the recent influx of news throughout Canada regarding the increasing cost of living and the effect that it appears to be having on Canadians from coast to coast, it stands to reason that Canada’s federal government views the transportation industry as deserving of special attention through IRCC’s new Express Entry category-based draws.

How Many Transport Workers Does Canada Really Need?

According to Trucking HR Canada, “between now and 2025, Canada will be forced to employ over 17,000 more truck drivers annually.”

Although it is just one of several sectors under the Express Entry category, trucking has been selected as the main subject of this article because Canada’s trucking crisis has been the most acute issue highlighted in the context of the nation’s broader transport sector.

According to the earlier stated Toronto Star piece, Canada now “has a deficit of about 20,000 truck drivers, a figure that could reach 30,000 in the years to come.”

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