On August 16, 2013, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, officially welcomed one of the first permanent residents Eric Byrne, originally from Ireland, under the new Federal Skilled Trades Program.
“The new Federal Skilled Trades Program enables us to attract and retain skilled workers – like Eric – so we can address regional labour shortages and strengthen Canada’s economy through our Skilled Trades stream” said Alexander.
In May 2013, Eric Byrne received his Ontario trades certificate of qualification. He currently works as a plumber for University Plumbing and Heating. Eric had first arrived through the International Experience Program in Canada. International youth between the ages 18 and 35 are provided with opportunities to travel and work in Canada.
Eric Byrne states that Canada is a great country, and that the people have been exceptionally warm and welcoming. “I am very pleased that I qualified for the Federal Skilled Trades Program as it recognizes the value of my skill set and has allowed me to stay in Canada and integrate seamlessly into my new status as a permanent resident.”
Paul Lyttle has been working as an electrician for Calgary-based Unitech Electrical Contracting Inc. since June 2013, another successful applicant welcomed by Jason Kenney, the Employment and Social Development Minister.
Minister Kenney said “The new Federal Skilled Trades Program is a significant improvement to Canada’s immigration system which, for too long, had not been open to in-demand skilled workers.” “Immigrants like Paul are set for success and I am pleased that this new Program will enable him, and others like him, to contribute skills to our economy on a permanent basis.”
Paul Lyttle is grateful for the opportunity to stay here in Canada permanently and to start making long-term plans. “Relocating to Canada was the right decision for me, both personally and professionally.”
Applicants originated from different countries including India, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany and Ireland have been successful under the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program was launched by the Government of Canada in January 2013 to facilitate the immigration of skilled tradespeople who meet Canada’s current and evolving economic needs. The program was created in response to the requests from Canadian employers for skilled workers to fill labour shortages, which are particularly in the natural resources and construction sectors. Applicants are assessed on relevant criteria, such as language ability practical training and work experience rather than focusing on the formal academic education. Applications are processed as quickly as possible in order to attract and retain qualified candidate’s such as Eric Byrne’s and Paul Lyttle’s application, which were processed within 3-4 months.
“This new Program responds directly to industry requests for a faster and more effective immigration program focused specifically on skilled trade professionals who are in short supply across Canada.” said Mr. Michael Atkinson, President of the Canadian Construction Association.
The Federal Skilled Trades Program, supports Economic Action Plan 2013, along with other recent transformational changes to economic immigration programs, by building a fast and flexible immigration systems that are focused both on the economic needs and labour market needs in Canada.