A Canadian government study about how the pandemic is affecting the labour in each province, highlights some occupations that increased in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan.
It is true that many industries were negatively affected by pandemic-related shutdowns, such as the tourism and hospitality sectors. Many individuals lost their jobs or saw their hours reduced. However, other sectors saw a rise in job vacancies.
Here are nine of the jobs that increased in demand. The jobs are listed alongside their National Occupational Classification (NOC) code.
1. Real estate agents and salespersons (NOC 6232)
Real estate agents and salespersons are professions who act as agents for the sale or purchase of property. This includes houses, apartments, commercial building and other real estate.
Employment for these professionals was unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, demand remains high.
Virtual viewings have given agents with much needed flexibility throughout the pandemic. These viewings would help in marketing property to potential buyers.
2. Transport truck drivers (NOC 7511)
Truck drivers transport goods and materials across provincial and international roads. They are employed by distribution, manufacturing, transportation and moving companies. They work in several industries including construction and wholesale trade.
Employment for truck drivers rose by 8 per cent in April 2020 compared to April 2019. The demand for these professionals continues throughout Canada, consistent with the long-standing shortage of truck driver.
3. Cleaning supervisors (NOC 6315)
These professionals are responsible for supervising and coordinating the work of workers such as specialized cleaners, janitors, caretakers and superintendents.
They are usually employed by hospitals, health care institutions, hotels, schools and other companies.
Employment for cleaning supervisors was 13 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
4. Heavy equipment operators (NOC 7521)
Heavy equipment operators operate the heavy equipment that is used in the construction of roads, bridges, airports, tunnels among other structures.
They are employed by construction companies, heavy equipment contractors and other companies.
Employment for these professionals was 11 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
It is worth noting that Saskatchewan announced it was dedicating $7.5 billion in infrastructure spending over two years. This alone suggests an increased demand for occupations such as heavy equipment operators.
5. Power engineers and power systems operators (NOC 9241)
Power engineers operate and maintain reactors, turbines, boilers, generators, engines and other equipment. This is to provide utility services such as heat, light and refrigeration.
Power system operators monitor and operate switchboards in electrical control centres. This is to control the distribution of electrical power.
Employment for these occupations was a whopping 208 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019. Demand for these occupations continued throughout the pandemic.
6. Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers (NOC 6622)
These professionals pack customers’ purchases, price items, stock shelves with products and fill mail and telephone orders. They are employed in retail businesses, grocery stores, department stores and warehouses.
Employment for these professionals was 123 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
There has been an increased demand in essential items because of the shift of consumer spending habits during the pandemic. Many grocery chains have hired additional shelf stockers and order fillers as a result.
7. Information systems analysts and consultants (NOC 2171)
These professionals analyze and test systems requirements, develop and implement plans, policies and procedures and provide advice on many information systems issues.
Employment for information systems and analysts and consultants was 38 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
There has been a shift towards increased technology usage during the pandemic as more and more individuals work or study from home.
8. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 3012)
These nurses provide nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs as well as consultative services.
They may be employed in many settings, such as in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres, clinics and private homes.
Employment for these nurses was 33 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
This role has been critical in diagnosing and caring for COVID-19 patients, and so demand for registered nurses has held strong.
9. User support technicians (NOC 2282)
User support technicians provide support to computer users who are experiencing difficulties with computer hardware or software.
They are employed by software developers, call centers, computer hardware manufacturers and information technology units.
Employment for this occupation was 38 per cent higher in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
The increase in demand for this occupation also comes down to the increased usage of technology as more companies and individuals are shifting towards remote work.
How you can immigrate to Saskatchewan if you work in one of these occupations
Economic immigration to Canadian provinces and territories exists to address labour market needs across Canada, and to support the country’s economic growth.
There are pathways to permanent residence for those with work experience in an in-demand occupation in a particular province.
You can also use your skilled work experience towards a permanent residence application through one of Canada’s three main economic class immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
Canada uses the Express Entry system to manage applications through one of these programs.
Before proceeding with Express Entry, make sure that your occupation is skilled by reviewing the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Your NOC code should be skill type 0, level A or level B.
Of the list above, only the following occupations would be eligible for Express Entry:
- Real estate agents and salespersons;
- Cleaning supervisors;
- Power engineers and power systems operators;
- Information systems analysts and consultants;
- Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses;
- User support technicians.
In addition, Saskatchewan has its own Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It is formally called the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).
The province has a sub-category specific to in-demand occupations under the International Skilled Worker category. Each time the SINP holds a draw, it also releases the list of eligible occupations for that particular draw.
If you also have an Express Entry profile, this may open doors to the province’s immigration programs that are aligned with Express Entry. This includes the Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category, also under the International Skilled Worker category.
So far in 2021, of the list above, only those with work experience as user support technicians, power engineers and power system operators were invited through Saskatchewan Express Entry.
In addition, those with work experience as information systems analysts and consultants were invited through the Occupation In-Demand sub-category.