Skilled Trades (Temporarily Unavailable - Curriculum Updates in Progress)

A skilled trade is a particular trade or craft that involves hands-on work to produce a product or offer a service. Skilled trade occupations in Canada may be called professions, technical trades, skills trades, or apprentice-able trades.

The skilled trades offer rewarding careers in a large number of occupations. In Canada, there are more than 200 designated trades. Skilled tradespersons typically work in four sectors of industry in Canada. These include:

  • Construction
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Service


Some skilled trades are formally recognized and regulated, meaning skilled tradespersons must complete training and receive certification before they are able to work in that occupation. For example, an experienced, internationally trained power engineer will need a provincial or territorial license to work in Canada.

Other skilled trades are non-regulated and do not require a certificate for employment.

Carpenters and automotive service technicians do not require certification to be employed. However, many employers prefer workers with a Certificate of Qualification provided by the industry training authorities from each province.

Important: Some trades in Canada are Red Seal trades. The Red Seal certification is recognized throughout Canada and this means that those with Red Seal certificates do not have to pass additional exams if they move to another Canadian province or territory.

Biotechnology & Life Sciences

The Canadian biotechnology and life sciences sector is a significant contributor to Canada’s innovation economy, and one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.

Canada is a world leader in biotechnology (the bio-economy) and has a large network of research hospitals, universities, laboratories, and companies that work within four major sectors:

  • Bio-health
  • Bio-energy
  • Bio-industrial technology
  • Agri-biotechnology


The Canadian biotechnology sector is comprised of occupations that can range from research, development and manufacturing industries within the sector.

Small and medium-sized companies across the country that develop diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, as well as global companies with sales, research, development and manufacturing operations in Canada are all included within the bio-economy.

The average educational requirements to work in the biotechnology and life sciences sector in Canada are as follows:

  • Completion of an undergraduate degree or program in biological sciences (biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, microbiology), applied chemistry, or a related field
  • Completion of a graduate degree in research occupations
  • Certification with provincial associations is available but voluntary

IT & Data Services

According to the Information Technology Association Canada (ITAC), the Information Technology (IT) industry drives employment, inspires innovation & business efficiency, and touches the lives of all Canadians daily.

Newcomers to Canada play a significant role in filling the job gaps in this industry, as 44% of skilled immigrants are employed in the IT sector.

There are over 37,400 companies in the Canadian IT sector. More than 90% of these companies fall within the software and computer services industries.

The IT field is characterized by a knowledge-intensive workforce, with over half of its workers holding a university degree. The software and computer services sub-sector employs 56.8% of university-educated workers, the largest proportion within the IT sector.

Overall, most Canadian immigrants employed in the IT industry have completed post-secondary studies in a related area such as information technology, science technology engineering or mathematics (STEM) courses.

Culinary Arts

There could be as many as 2.29 million tourism and hospitality jobs across Canada by 2035. Current projections show that approximately 240,000 of these jobs will not have people to fill them, leaving ample opportunity for new immigrants to build rewarding careers and quickly gain new skills and responsibilities.

Food and beverage services, hospitality and tourism, and recreation and entertainment employers will be particularly looking for skilled people to add to their teams.

There are five sectors within the tourism and hospitality industry in Canada:

  • Accommodation – hotels, motels, and other short-term and overnight accommodation
  • Food and Beverage – restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars
  • Recreation and Entertainment – tourist attractions, ski hills, museums, sports and entertainment facilities
  • Transportation – passenger and sightseeing transportation by air, water, rail, or vehicle
  • Travel Service – coordinating and planning business and leisure travel, such as travel agents, destination marketing organizations, and visitor services

Accounting & Finance

The financial services sector is one of the crucial drivers of the Canadian economy, accounting for as much as 4.5 percent of total employment in Canada and 7.1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017.

Additionally, the Federal Government of Canada projected almost 100,000 newly available positions in the role of “financial auditors and accountants”, with a further 80,000 positions available for bookkeepers becoming available from 2017-2026.

All content for the FAST Accounting & Finance modules has been prepared by Future Skills Centre Project through a partnership of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC (IEC-BC) and the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC).

Visit CPA Canada’s International Credential Recognition website to learn more on how newcomers can receive a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in Canada.

Seniors Care

FAST Seniors Care is currently available only to those currently residing in British Columbia.

While the vast majority of British Columbia’s older adults – about 93% – live independently, those who can no longer cope with activities of daily living because of health-related problems or serious illness must find care and support services.

Seniors’ care and living are gearing up to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in B.C.’s economy over the next five years. This growth will be accompanied by 32,600 nursing and long-term care job openings over the next 10 years.

The seniors’ care and living sector offer diverse career paths to newcomers in B.C. and Canada in clinical and non-clinical roles in a variety of care settings, including long-term care homes, assisted living, supportive housing, independent living residences, as well as seniors’ own homes.

While health care assistants (HCAs), registered nurses (RNs), and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) make up a majority of the clinical roles in seniors care organizations, allied health professionals such as physiotherapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), therapeutic recreation assistants, rehabilitation assistants, social workers, and dietitians/nutritionists provide vital health services to residents.

In addition to clinical roles, support services workers are also in demand. Healthcare support workers, home health companions, cooks, chefs, dietary aides, janitors, housekeeping, and laundry aides are just some of the roles care homes are looking to hire workers for to better support the delivery of care and support services to their clients.

Seniors’ care and living homes also employ office workers like receptionists and administrative assistants to oversee the day-to-day administrative functions at their sites. There are also many business and administrative roles, in fields such as marketing, finance, human resources, and more.

To learn more about the available assessments in FAST Seniors Care, visit our webpage FAST Seniors Care or our partner site

Prepare for Work in Canada NEW Standalone Module

The ‘Prepare for Work in Canada’ module in Facilitating Access to Skilled Talent (FAST) is designed to give learners an introduction to Canadian workplace culture, employer expectations, and the skills required to successfully integrate into the Canadian labour market. It provides introductory lessons to key information newcomers should know as you begin to work in Canada and plan for your career success.

With FAST’s free Prepare for Work in Canada module, you can:

  • Discover the importance of adaptability in the workplace
  • Learn to recognize the value of knowing your skills
  • Identify the importance of interpersonal skills within occupational success
  • Understand the key legal aspects of working in Canada
  • Help overcome barriers posed by culture unfamiliarity
  • Learn about the best ways to communicate at work

All newcomers to Canada are eligible to accelerate their employment!

Not seeing what you are looking for?

FAST hopes to continue to expand into additional sectors to better prepare more skilled immigrants to find employment in their sector faster! We would love to hear from you about what sectors you would like included in the FAST program.

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