New Skilled Trades Program Long Overdue

By James Metcalfe | December 10, 2012

James Metcalfe – Pace Immigration: The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced a new Skilled Tradesprogram today.

Kudos to Jason Kenney for acknowledging that there was a hole in the Skilled Worker program, and that skilled workers include people who work with their hands as well as their heads.

I believe that this program’s arrival is long overdue. When I first started working as Visa Officer decades ago, we had a steady stream of skilled trade applicants who were machinists, welders, and pipe fitters, among others. The key to success was recognition of their trade certificates, which for the most part were up to Canadian standards.

While I’m happy with this latest program announcement, my main concern with the new program is that Visa Officers today have little or no experience in selecting and verifying the credentials of tradespeople.  That is the weakness of the system.  I hope that Jason Kenney will offer training to these officers, so that we get the right type of people to fill this void in our immigration programs.