Saskatchewan created a brand-new pathway to permanent residency pathway last month to tackle its dire labour shortage because it is so in need of immigrants to fill in-demand jobs.
The Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot was launched in late November to allow employers to recruit workers through overseas missions, or other international recruitment activities, into select jobs that have significant recruitment challenges.
The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) pilot program allows applications even for low and entry-level positions that may require on-the-job training but are critical for businesses to continue to operate.
As a targeted initiative to attract more immigrants to Saskatchewan, the Hard-To-Fill Pilot joins an array of other programs put in place by the province, including the Health Professional, Hospitality Sector Pilot Project, and Long-Haul Truck Drivers sub-categories of its Saskatchewan Experience category of programs as well as both the Farm Owners/Operators, and Young Farmers sub-categories of its Business category of programs.
The healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, ag-tech, construction, hospitality and retail sectors in Saskatchewan are all screaming for workers to fill jobs that are going begging for lack of personnel.
“The demand for labour in our province is strong, and it’s only going to increase with the significant economic projects recently announced in Saskatchewan,” said provincial Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison in late November.
“This new Hard-To-Fill Skills Pilot – developed in Saskatchewan for Saskatchewan – is progress on our autonomy discussions with the federal government and is going to help provide employers with greater access to international options to recruit workers,” he said.
“This is in addition to record investments into training and upskilling our provincial workforce, as we enter a period of strong growth coming out of the global pandemic.”
With its provincial economy on track to have grown by four per cent this year and its real GDP expected to rise another 3.4 per cent next year, Saskatchewan is in hiring mode.
“Business owners, business management in the area … they’re all struggling for help,” Sherry Halvorson, district manager of Urban Cellars Beer Spirits & Wine Stores in Saskatoon, has reportedly said.
“It doesn’t matter whether they’re restaurants, whether they’re grocery stores. The bank is lined up right out the door. They need bank tellers. It’s the fact of life. We need to get people back to work.”
Top 10 Most In-Demand Jobs in Saskatchewan
1. Nurses (NOC 3012)
Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses provide direct nursing care to patients, deliver health education programs and provide consultative services regarding issues relevant to the practice of nursing.
Indeed listed 128 open positions for nurses and Jobank had 300 job offers posted for these medical professionals in Saskatchewan in early December as the demand for nurses was driven up during the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the country.
Mandatory vaccinations for healthcare staff led to a few of them leaving their jobs while the massive, most recent wave of the pandemic created an even greater demand for medical personnel.
The occupation comes with a median annual wage of $86,250 based on a 37.5-hour work week with top wage earners in the province making up to $96,525 in the Yorkton-Melville region of Saskatchewan.
2. Delivery and Courier Service Drivers (NOC 7514)
These are the people who pick up and deliver various products for dairies, drug stores, newspaper distributors, take-out restaurants, dry cleaners, mobile caterers, courier and messenger service companies.
Most online shoppers know these people these days as those who bring stuff bought on eBay and Amazon to their homes. The online shopping boom and growth of Amazon in Canada led to a hiring boom for these workers this year.
According to Indeed, there were 191 jobs for delivery drivers in Saskatchewan in early December.
The job pays a median annual income of $32,175 based on a standard work week in Saskatchewan but upper earners can bring in up to $68,250per year.
3. Physicians – Family (NOC 3112) and Specialists (3111)
In early December, Indeed listed 138 positions for family physicians and specialists in Saskatchewan.
General practitioners and family physicians diagnose and treat diseases, physiological disorders and injuries. Across the country, they make a median annual salary of $216,864 but can earn as much as $414,390.
Specialists, a category that includes surgeons, diagnose and treat diseases and physiological or psychiatric disorders and act as consultants to other physicians.
The Canadian median annual salary for a surgeon is $281,182 but that income can hit $580,346 per year.
4. Cooks (NOC 6322)
Restaurateurs in Saskatchewan are in dire need of cooks as the hospitality sector faces an unprecedented labour shortage.
There were 271 jobs for cooks in Saskatchewan in early December, according to Job Bank. Indeed listed 351 such positions.
It’s not the highest-paying work. The median annual income for a cook in Saskatchewan, based on a 37.5-hour work week, is $27,787 and the annual salary tops off at $45,181 in the northern part of the province. But there are a lot of jobs in the hospitality sector in the province.
5. Food And Beverage Servers (NOC 6513)
Restaurateurs in Saskatchewan are also facing a serious labour shortage when it comes to servers with one vice president of the Restaurants Canada industry association calling the situation “unprecedented”.
There were 108 jobs for servers in Saskatchewan in early December, according to Indeed.
The median annual income for a server before tips in Saskatchewan, based on a 37.5-hour work week, is $27,105 with a maximum annual salary of $39,000.
6. Retail Sales Associates (NOC 6421)
Every store has retail sales associates, those people who sell, rent or lease a range of technical and non-technical goods and services directly to consumers.
In Saskatchewan, Indeed noted there were 438 jobs for retail sales associates in early December, the peak of the retail shopping season.
Based on a 37.5-hour week, the median annual income of a retail sales associate in that province is $29,250 but these workers can make up to $58,500 in Swift Current.
7. Transport Truck Drivers (NOC 7511)
With more Canadians moving to online shopping during the pandemic, the demand for truck drivers to deliver those parcels skyrocketed even as many of these workers opted out of the workforce to avoid any risk of catching COVID-19.
In early December, the Job Bank job website listed 165 jobs for truckers in the province and Indeed was then carrying ads for 246 such jobs.
The median annual income for a trucker working a standard work week in Saskatchewan is $48750 but that can rise to $67,275 depending on experience.
8. Farm and Harvesting Workers (NOCs 8431 and 8611)
Although farm work tends to be heavily seasonal, Canadian farms are always looking for good workers, especially during harvest time.
Job Bank pegs the outlook for farm work as “good”, its highest rating.
The federal government job website listed 87 jobs for farm hands in Saskatchewan in early December, long after the end of the annual harvest.
Farm hands in Saskatchewan earn a median annual wage of $42,900 per year, based on a standard work week and year-round employment. In some regions of the province, upper wage earners can make up to $74,100 per year.
9. Underground Production And Development Miners (NOC 8231)
Mining companies operating in Saskatchewan had 144 jobs posted on Indeed in early December.
Underground production and development miners drill, blast, operate mining machinery, and extract coal and ore in underground mines. They also build tunnels, passageways and mine shafts.
In Saskatchewan, that gives them a median annual income of $83,850. Top earners can make up to $117,000 per year based on full employment at a standard, 37.5-hour work week.
10. Labourers In Processing, Manufacturing And Utilities (NOC 9619)
These are the people who make things and handle materials, clean-up, package and process items in manufacturing plants that produce clothing, footwear, furniture and electrical and electronic products and other goods.
In early December, Indeed listed 253 jobs in the manufacturing sector in Saskatchewan.
These labourers earn a median annual wage of $33,150 per year, based on a standard work week and year-round employment, in Saskatchewan. In some regions of the province, upper wage earners can make up to $53,840 per year.