Canada is renowned for its stable and robust economy, which has witnessed a strong resurgence in various sectors following the pandemic. A key driver of Canada’s sustained economic growth is its ambitious immigration targets. The Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025 aims to welcome 500,000 immigrants annually by the end of 2025. With nearly 25% of the country’s population identifying as immigrants, newcomers play a vital role in filling labor force gaps caused by retirements and skill shortages. In this article, we will explore the fastest-growing industries in Canada, providing lucrative prospects for immigrants seeking opportunities in the country.
Healthcare: Meeting the Rising Demand
The healthcare sector in Canada is experiencing remarkable growth due to an aging population and increased healthcare needs. Provinces across the country are actively recruiting healthcare professionals from abroad to address this surge in demand. Currently, immigrants comprise over 35% of physicians, 23% of registered nurses, and 39% of dentists in Canada.
Recent statistics from Statistics Canada reveal that the healthcare industry has the highest number of job vacancies, with approximately 143,800 positions unfilled as of February 2023. The nursing sector, in particular, faced significant challenges during the pandemic, leading to extended leaves or resignations among nurses.
To facilitate the immigration of healthcare workers, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented measures to streamline the permanent residency process. For instance, barriers for physicians who were previously considered self-employed have been eliminated. Healthcare professionals often take advantage of programs such as Express Entry, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class, or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) specifically designed for healthcare workers.
Agriculture: Bridging the Skills Gap
Canada’s agricultural sector, employing over 243,000 Canadians, is grappling with a shortage of skilled workers, resulting in over 14,000 job vacancies. According to a report by the Royal Bank of Canada, it is projected that by 2033, 40% of Canadian farm operators will retire, emphasizing the need for a steady influx of immigrants.
Recognizing the short-term skills crisis, the Canadian government aims to welcome 30,000 permanent immigrants within the next decade to establish their own farms, take over existing ones, or work in greenhouses. To support this objective, IRCC recently extended the Agri-Food Pilot Program and removed occupational caps. Eligible occupations include retail butchers, industrial butchers, farm supervisors, specialized livestock workers, food processing laborers, general farm workers, and harvesting laborers. PNPs also offer dedicated streams for agriculture workers, providing tailored pathways for immigration.
Tech: Driving Innovation and Clean Growth
Canada’s focus on innovation and clean growth is propelling the demand for skilled workers in the technology sector. The federal budget for 2023 allocated $20 billion to support major clean electricity and growth infrastructure projects, which is expected to create numerous opportunities in the tech industry. Notably, many careers in the clean technology manufacturing sector do not require a university degree, and the average worker compensation in this sector in 2021 was $90,252, surpassing Canada’s economy-wide average of $69,311.
The growth of the AI sector also contributes to Canada’s demand for tech workers. With over 1,032 AI and machine learning companies, Canada ranks fourth globally in AI competitiveness, according to the Global AI Index, showcasing its commitment to AI implementation, innovation, and investment. To attract tech workers, IRCC offers programs like the Global Talent Stream under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. This program aims to expedite the application processing time to two weeks once the final application is submitted by the potential employee. Additionally, PNPs conduct targeted draws for tech professionals, including streams such as the BC Tech Stream, OINP Tech Draw, Saskatchewan Tech Talent Pathway, and the Alberta Accelerated Tech Pathway.