How will the New NOC Affect International Students?

Canada has long valued the contribution that immigration brings. By getting immigrants, Canada solves a lot of economic related issues. For example any country can cut back years of labor shortage through welcoming immigrants. Instead of producing skilled workers, the faster way is to attract professionals that are already qualified. In a simple economic principle, the strength of any country’s economy is measured by the competency of its labor force—the caliber of the people working. The growth of an economy is brought by a balance between a capable work force and available jobs, and immigrants bring this mobility in Canada’s economy. According to statistics, not only does Canada have an aging population, but more Canadian families are getting smaller because a lot of them opt to not have children. This is why reunification and family sponsorship is also a part of Canada’s immigration plan. In a nutshell, immigration takes care of two major problems: population by quantity and quality. 

Although there is a need to increase Canada’s population by number, immigration is still a selective process and only the best fit for the demand makes the cut. Canada releases an immigration level plan every year which shows in details the target quota of immigrants needed. In the coming year 2022, Canada plans to welcome 411, 000 immigrants, over half of which is expected to be coming from the economic class, about 232,500 as estimated. The chances of these immigrants belonging in an ‘economic class” relies heavily on the nature of their work and the likelihood to become permanent residents depends on the need for these jobs throughout Canada. Workers are then classified as what Canada refers to as National Occupational Classification (NOC). 

There are two components in an NOC code: 

  1. Broad Occupational Category – this simply indicates the nature of the job, the industry in which the occupation’s discipline falls to. The broad occupational category is classified by numbers from 0-9 according to job type. On a further note the numbers do not mean a hierarchy but rather just to categorize the job.  

2. Skill level – the second part of an NOC code is called the skill level. Basically, the “skill level” part of an NOC categorizes occupations according to the required skill level to acquire and perform the occupation. 

The NOC is updated every ten years in a collaborative research and input of Statistics Canada  (STC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The two entities will study recent economy status and the nature and trend of the jobs in the market. 

The government of Canada has recently released a notice of major structural revision of the current NOC. This modification will take effect in Fall 2022. 

What is Changing on NOC’s in Fall 2022?

The major overhaul in the current NOC is that “Skill Level” category will be replaced by Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER). As the name implies, the new TEER category will give emphasis on the education training and experience one has to acquire to perform the job. In a perfect sense, education and experience are the building blocks for any occupation, hence the change is necessary to further classify workers. Also, according to StatCan and ESDC, the current NOC (2016 version) the term “Skill Level” often creates confusion as to which a certain occupation should belong in accordance to their actual position; this was reflected in the current NOC (2016) where a significant number of Skill Level B workers were present and made up about 42% of the job mix. The new TEER will be able to breakdown and distribute this “Skill Level B” jobs into a more specific category. From 4 Skill Levels of the current NOC, the new TEER introduces 6 categories in an attempt to sort occupations and address the misleading use of the NOC’s. 

Training, Education, Experience and Responsibility (TEER)

How would the new NOC affect international students? 

  1. Education and training will play a major role in the new NOC. TEER gives emphasis on how important formal education, training, and job experience in fulfilling an occupation is. 
  2. There are 16 new occupation in the list of the 2021 NOC compare to the 2016 NOC, particularly in the fields of data science, cybersecurity, and other emerging fields in technology and health. This provides international students on the new and in demand jobs in Canada that could help them decide which careers to pursue. 
  3. International students who wish to apply for permanent residency must ensure that they fall into the right NOC category. NOC is used to evaluate a permanent resident candidate’s eligibility to enter into an immigration program.

The revision of the NOC and the formulation of the new one is intended to improve the management of job categories.

Source: NOC Redesign

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