Ottawa, Jan 3 (IANS) Canada began accepting applications from skilled foreign workers Wednesday under a new programme to address labour shortages being witnessed in parts of the country.
The new Skilled Trades Programme will address serious labour shortages that some regions of the country are facing, and will help grow Canada's economy, Xinhua quoted Immigration Minister Jason Kenney as saying in a statement.
"These long-overdue changes are part of the government's plan to build a fast and flexible immigration system that is responsive to the needs of Canada's economy," he said.
Canada, under the programme, will accept applications from up to 3,000 tradespersons in 43 occupations, including electricians, welders, heavy-duty equipment mechanics and pipe-fitters.
To qualify for the programne, foreign applicants need to have an employment offer in Canada, or a certificate of qualification from a province or one of Canada's three territories ensuring they are "job ready" upon their arrival.
Applicants must also be able to demonstrate proficiency in one of Canada's two official languages - English and French - as well as have a minimum of two years of work experience as a skilled tradesperson, and show they have performed the essential duties of their occupation.