One of the five occupational categories that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has decided to give priority via Express Entry category-based draws in 2023 is science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) positions.

Earlier this year, category-based drawings for Express Entry were introduced. To satisfy recognized economic needs and goals, Express Entry chooses immigrants with specific qualities, like schooling, professional experience, or language proficiency.

The federal government identified five key occupational categories experiencing labor market gaps: healthcare, STEM, transportation, trades, and agriculture/agri-food. These groups were selected after soliciting input and recommendations from a wide variety of stakeholders and the public.

Standard Express Entry drawings largely focus on an applicant’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score; in contrast, category-based draws highlight and favor candidates with relevant job experience.

Why STEM Is An Express Entry Category

Research published by Statistics Canada at the close of 2022 revealed a skills gap in the STEM labor force in Canada. The main causes of this disparity are the high retirement rates, the changing technological landscape, and the automation of daily operations and commerce.

The need for IT professionals has expanded due to Canada’s fast-growing Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector. According to the Global AI index, Canada placed fourth for innovation, implementation, and investment competitiveness worldwide.

“Canada’s capacity to draw talent serves as one of its biggest assets.” Upon the announcement of the inaugural STEM category-based draw by IRCC, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne also stated “The new round of selections would help the STEM-focused companies and their workforce by drawing in more skilled talent needed to stimulate invention and discover their growth potential.”

Minister Champagne went on, “Canada is the ideal location in the world to establish and grow a technology enterprise, blending its unmatched capacity to attract talent with the creative ability of its entrepreneurs.”

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