Important changes are coming to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system that the government of Canada uses to classify jobs and determine eligibility for various programs and incentives. The old four-digit codes will be replaced by a five-digit system that represents the skills and experience associated with occupations in a new way. The five Skill Levels (0, A – D) that once determined the second digit of each NOC will be replaced by a six-tier Training, Experience, Education and Responsibilities indicator, known as a TEER category (TEER 0 -5).
While most occupations fall into TEER categories that are roughly equivalent to the Skill group they would have been in before, there are exceptions for occupations in the middle range of both systems, including long-haul truck driving. Formerly a Skill Level C occupation (the fourth of the five levels), transport truck drivers are now grouped into TEER 3 (out of six TEER levels), where they receive slightly more recognition, impacting the programs and initiatives they are eligible for. The most significant impact will be on express pathways to immigration.
Since NOCs help determine eligibility for immigration programs, the new codes have immediate implications for transport and logistics workers seeking entry to Canada. Under the previous system, long-haul truck drivers were not eligible for the Express Entry Program, meaning the most viable pathway to immigration for these workers was through provincial nomination programs. As of November 16, 2022, the program will begin using the new system. Transport truck drivers will be included in the General Trades major group, which is eligible for all streams of the Express Entry Program and included as a target group in the Federal Skilled Trades stream. This will potentially make it easier for employers to recruit experienced drivers from abroad, especially if they are able to provide a job offer and relocation assistance.