This action is part of Canada’s effort to alleviate driver shortages in the busing and trucking businesses across the country.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will transition from its National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2016 system to an improved NOC 2021 version on November 16, 2022.

As part of the NOC 2021 transition, IRCC approved 16 additional occupations eligible for Express Entry. Among those added are transport truck drivers and bus drivers, two industries facing substantial labour shortages across Canada.

The Scarcity of School bus Drivers in Canada

Canada has long struggled with a shortage of school bus drivers in various sections of the nation. Many regions around the country are struggling to secure transportation for kids due to issues such as poor pay and “a rash of retirements during the epidemic,” for example.

For example, due to labour shortages in this field, much-anticipated events for kids throughout Canada, such as an 8000-student cross-country meet scheduled by one Catholic School Board in London, Ontario last October, have been cancelled.

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In October 2022, Global News reported that a scarcity of school bus drivers in Montreal prompted the cancellation of many bus routes, a result identical to what occurred in one Yellowknife town in the first week of 2023.

As one Transport Canada news release estimated back in July 2022, 2.2 million children in this country “travel to and from school [on buses] every day.” As a result, labour shortages in this industry can have a significant impact on the lives of many young Canadians who rely on these methods to get to and from school every day.

Canada’s Truck Driver Shortage

The truck driving sector is critical to the advancement of Canada’s national supply chain. According to TruckingHR Canada, a large number of vacancies in this industry — 18,000 in Q2 2021, rising to 20,110 in Q2 2022 — “has a major impact on the national economy when there are interruptions and labour shortages.”

TruckingHR Canada expects that over 34,000 truck drivers will quit the sector each year, owing to problems ranging from “safety concerns [and] hefty upfront training expenditures” to work-life balance and retirements. This indicates that the trucking industry, where the job vacancy rate among Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 2021: 73300) was 9.1% in the second quarter of 2022, would continue to stymie the Canadian economy if countrywide labour shortages worsen.

Express Entry changes aimed at alleviating labour shortages in the transportation industry

To address the aforementioned labour shortages, IRCC has added transport truck drivers and bus drivers to the list of jobs eligible for Express Entry immigration to Canada.

The Government of Canada remains optimistic that this expansion of Express Entry eligibility, along with other changes to Express Entry such as targeted draws, will encourage more foreign nationals — particularly skilled workers best suited to fill the country’s most pressing labour gaps, such as those outlined above — to come to Canada in the future.

Note: Targeted Express Entry draws, which are expected to begin as early as Q2 2023, will allow IRCC to conduct Express Entry draws that prioritise prospective immigrants based on specific target attributes such as language skills, educational backgrounds, or work experience rather than a candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. As Canada moves closer to adopting the new system, more information about the specifics of targeted Express Entry drawings will become accessible.

Other immigration options for foreign truck and bus drivers

Foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to Canada have various immigration alternatives in addition to Express Entry.

Pathways such as Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), which operate in 11 of the country’s 13 provinces and territories (excluding Quebec and Nunavut), as well as the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, are among these choices (RNIP).

The initiatives mentioned above, as well as many others around the country, allow each region in which these programmes run to choose and choose foreign skilled employees that the local government believes would best assist solve local labour market deficiencies.

As a result, in the instance of bus and/or truck driving, a prospective immigrant would be well positioned to come to that region and work locally as a bus or truck driver if they applied to a programme conducted in a location with a particularly big labour need in the trucking or busing business.

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By Published On: 7:17 amCategories: Canada News, Canadian Immigration0 Comments

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