The Federal Skilled Trades Program

Canada is in need of skilled trades people and as of January 2, 2013 they began accepting applications for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. There is a maximum of 3,000 applications allowed in the first year. Within this 3,000 cap, no more than 100 new applications for certain jobs will be considered for processing each year. See if you're eligible and how to apply.

Application criteria

To apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program, you must:

  • Plan to live outside the province of Quebec;
  • Meet the required levels in English or French for each language ability (speaking, reading, writing, and listening);
  • Have at least two years' full-time work experience (or an equal amount of part-time work experience) in a skilled trade within the five years before you apply;
  • Meet all job requirements for that skilled trade as set out in the National Occupational Classification (NOC); and
  • Have an offer of full-time employment for a total period of at least one year or a certificate of qualification in that skilled trade issued by a provincial or territorial body.*

*Different provinces and territories have different processes for issuing a certificate of qualification. Each separate province and territory's trades authority will need to assess your training, skills and experience. You will need to go to the website of the trades authority in the place you'd like to live and work to find out more.

Eligible jobs

In total, there are 43 jobs that are eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Trades Program in the first year:

Group A – jobs with sub-caps of 100 applications each (and their corresponding 2011 National Occupation Classification (NOC) code)
  • 7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
  • 7204 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
  • 7205 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
  • 7271 Carpenters
  • 7301 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
  • 7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
  • 8211 Supervisors, logging and forestry
  • 8221 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
  • 8222 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
  • 8241 Logging machinery operators
  • 8252 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
  • 9211 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
  • 9212 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
  • 9214 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
  • 9231 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
  • 9241 Power engineers and power systems operators
  • 9243 Water and waste treatment plant operators
Group B – no sub-caps (2011 NOC code)
  • 7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
  • 7233 Sheet metal workers
  • 7235 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
  • 7236 Ironworkers
  • 7237 Welders and related machine operators
  • 7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
  • 7242 Industrial electricians
  • 7243 Power system electricians
  • 7244 Electrical power line and cable workers
  • 7245 Telecommunications line and cable workers
  • 7246 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
  • 7251 Plumbers
  • 7252 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
  • 7253 Gas fitters
  • 7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
  • 7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
  • 7313 Refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics
  • 7314 Railway carmen/women
  • 7315 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
  • 7318 Elevator constructors and mechanics
  • 7371 Crane operators
  • 7372 Drillers and blasters - surface, mining, quarrying and construction
  • 7373 Water well drillers
  • 8231 Underground production and development miners
  • 8232 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
  • 9232 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

NOC codes are noted because you must include this code in your application.

Language requirements

You must meet the minimum English or French language requirements in four areas (reading, writing, speaking and listening) .

You can only undertake language testing by Citizenship & Immigration Canada approved organisations, which are as follows:

  • CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (you must take the "CELPIP-G" test)
  • IELTS: International English Language Testing System (you must take the “General Training” option)
  • TEF: Test d’évaluation de français

You must include your test results with your application.


Some people are not eligible to move to Canada because of things such as being involved in criminal activity or having security, health or financial issues. If you're not allowed to come to Canada, do not apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program. Find out more about inadmissibility.

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