The National Occupational Classification or NOC Code is a fundamental part of Canada’s skilled worker immigration programs. And it is going to be replaced by a completely new classification system in 2022.
Canada conducts a review and overhaul of its occupational classification system once in every ten years. By the end of 2022, the NOC system will be replaced by Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories.
NOC vs. TEER—What’s Going to Change?
The existing system has five skill levels to categorize different occupations.
0- Managerial jobs.
A- Professional jobs requiring university education
B- Skilled trades requiring college education or apprentice training.
C- Semi-skilled jobs requiring secondary school or occupational training.
D- Semi-skilled and unskilled jobs requiring on-job training with little or no other formal education.
Going ahead, this will be replaced by a numerical classification system consisting of six categories.
TEER 0 will cover management occupations and is likely to be the equivalent of NOC 0 positions.
TEER 1 will cover jobs that require university degree i.e. similar to NOC A. Further, TEER 1 will include persons in TEER 2 occupations with several years of work experience.
TEER 2 covers jobs where candidate is required to have post-secondary education of two years or more or apprenticeship training as well as occupations with supervisory or significant safety responsibilities. Further, persons in TEER 3 occupations with several years of experience can graduate to TEER 2.
TEER 3 requires post-secondary education or apprenticeship of less than two years or secondary schooling with more than six months of on-job training. Again,
TEER 4 candidates with several years of experience can qualify for TEER 3 positions.
TEER 4 covers positions where applicants must have completed secondary school and are likely to undergo a few weeks of on-job training while TEER 5 is for jobs with no formal educational requirement.
Barring TEER 5 and TEER 0, persons in other TEER categories can move to a higher category on basis of their work experience even if they don’t have the prescribed educational qualifications. To this extent, long work experience is treated to be equivalent to a formal degree.
What TEER Changes Mean for You?
Currently, Skill Level A, which includes Skill Type 0, consists of 28 percent of all unit groups followed by 42 percent for Skill Level B and 24 percent of for skill level C.
The remaining six percent is covered by Skill Level D.
Under the TEER system, TEER 0 covers nine percent of unit groups with TEER 1, 2, 3, and 4 covering 19%, 31%, 13%, and 18% respectively. TEER 5 has nine percent of unit groups.
The new occupation code will have five digits instead of the earlier four and the total number of occupations has increased from 500 to 516. The new occupations cover fields like data security and cyber security, which is good news for tech professionals.
So, as a skilled worker, how are these changes going to impact you?
Well, six skill levels means the distinction between a skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled position will be a lot sharper. This can be good news if your existing semi-skilled position gets upgraded to a skilled position.
However, the opposite too may happen, which means you may need to urgently plan to upgrade your skills so that your immigration and job prospects don’t suffer under the new system.
Further, the change in distribution of unit groups for each category means there may be a marked shift to skilled workers falling in the existing NOC A and B skill levels. This is not to say that NOC 0 or managerial occupations will go out of favor.
However, it’s safe to conclude that Canada immigration’s emphasis on skilled workers, especially with skills falling in the upper end of the classification system, will increase in the years ahead.
2022 was already going to be an eventful year for skilled workers. FSWP draws are likely to resume and applicants must be prepared for changes like new TR to PR streams or even super draws for FSWP applicants.
Added to this, skilled workers must also prepare for the NOC to TEER transition and make sure their immigration chances don’t suffer due to this change. Obviously, the smartest option would be to work with a professional so that you are best placed to take advantage of all the developments likely to take place in Canada in 2022.