Federal Government Announces Changes to the NOC System

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced the implementation of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 for immigration programs managed under the Express Entry system.

The NOC is the national reference for occupations in Canada. It provides a systematic classification structure that categorizes the entire range of occupational activity in Canada and is used by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to determine and assess the occupational eligibility criteria under its temporary and permanent residency programs. The revised system will see HCAs categorized as “skilled workers” for the purposes of immigration. Further, the former five-category skill level structure is being replaced with a six-category system called Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) categories.

“We are using all of the tools at our disposal to tackle labour shortages, particularly in key sectors like health care, construction, and transportation. These changes will support Canadians in need of these services, and they will support employers by providing them with a more robust workforce who we can depend on to drive our economy forward into a prosperous future. I’m thrilled to announce expanded pathways to permanent residence in Canada for these in-demand workers,” the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship said in today’s news release.

“This important announcement will help alleviate the health human resource challenge in seniors care,” says Terry Lake, CEO BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) and EngAge BC, adding “the addition of HCAs as skilled workers will mean more opportunities for internationally trained care aides to come to BC”.

“BC Care Providers Association and the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) have been advocating and supporting this initiative for the past two years,” continues Lake.

A recent example of the Association’s efforts to develop a simple and clear pathway for internationally trained health care workers, includes last month’s meetings in Ottawa, where the Association and CALTC representatives, met with officials from the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister’s offices, as well as with advisors in ministries responsible for seniors, immigration, employment and training, to discuss health human resource issues. Other advocacy measures taken by the Association to raise awareness and drive systemic changes, include a Care to Chat dialogue on streamlining immigration pathways, and original video on the same topic.