Written by Christopher Nye,
2nd August 2017

Canada needs an extra 182,000 IT workers by 2019. With nowhere near enough Canadians to fill the positions, the government is using the Express Entry immigration system to attract talented qualified workers. Could you be one?

Canada’s Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) recently published a report that stated Canada will need some 182,000 new workers in its IT sector by 2019 – across all Canadian provinces. There are also a whole host of IT job types affected by the shortage, including telecommunication professionals, software engineers, web designers and computer programmers.

Canada will need some 182,000 new workers in its IT sector by 2019

Because Canada already has an advanced immigration system that is used to fast-tracking applicants with a background in specific industries with labour shortages, there is an easy solution: utilising the Express Entry immigration system and specifically the Provincial Nominee Programmes (PNP).

What is Express Entry?

The Express Entry selection system was introduced as a way of modernising the Permanent Residency application process. From 2015 potential expats have used the online system to create a personal profile detailing all their pertinent information: education, work experience etc. These profiles are categorised based on the Comprehensive Ranking System, where points are awarded for various achievements, e.g. someone with five years specialised IT experience would score more points than someone who has one year of experience. A number of applicants with the highest scores are then invited to apply for permanent residency each month.


Canada is using the Express Entry immigration system to fill significant labour shortages in the IT sector.


The Provincial Nomination Programme

Once you have created your Express Entry profile you can apply for a provincial nomination. If you are successful in obtaining a nomination an additional 600 points will be added to your Comprehensive Ranking score, all but guaranteeing an invitation to apply for permanent residency.

Each province manages their PNP system individually, and has different occupations they target. For example right now the province of Ontario is actively recruiting for 15 IT sub- categories, including computer and information system managers and network technicians. According to the ICTC report, over 50,000 of the required 182,000 new roles will be in the greater Toronto area.

50,000 of the required 182,000 new roles will be located in the greater Toronto area.

Thanks to programmes like the PNP, the number of applicants coming through Express Entry has grown, and 2017 is set to be a record setting year as more than 54,000 applicants have already been invited to apply for residency – that is more applicants than the whole of 2016!

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