IELTS Standards and the labour market in PEI

From 2013 to 2017, PEI has been accepting 1500 immigrants and 700 foreign students per year on average. The Canadian Bureau for International Education reports that 51% of international students in Canada plan to remain here after they graduate. Over the last 4 years then, approximately 10,000 people have relocated to PEI from abroad.

This is part of a larger trend across Canada in which immigration fills critical occupational shortages and bolsters the population. The PEI government actively recruits immigrants through the Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP) to counter negative demographic growth and refresh the labour market.

The PEI PNP’s Labour Impact Category focuses on the changing labour market needs of the province’s industries. This immigration category is composed of three streams, each with their own set of eligibility requirements: the Skilled Worker Stream, the Critical Worker Stream, and the International Graduate Stream.

Currently five occupations are included in the the Critical Worker Stream program: truck drivers, customer service representatives, labourers, food & beverage servers, and housekeeping attendants.

The following table shows the Skilled Shortage List defined by the PEI government and the licensing requirements for international applicants. Almost all require IELTS bands of 5 or higher. The PEI Nursing Association only accepts IELTS results as proof of English language competency.

PEI Skilled Shortage List with English language Competency Requirements

Occupation Licensing Requirement IELTS Score
Aerospace Inspector

Aerospace Engineering Team Leader

Basic training course from a Transport Canada (TC) Approved Training Organization (ATO) Admission to training course requires overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band
Artisan Entrepreneurs Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants in National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Levels C and D occupations class nominees require a copy of their language test results 4.0 overall
Chemical Process Operators Completion of secondary school is required. Mathematics, chemistry and physics subjects are often specified.
A college diploma in process operation, sciences or a related subject may be required for some positions.
Petroleum and chemical process operators and process technicians require completion of several years of formal company training.
Experience as a petroleum or chemical process operator in all the operating units controlled by the central control room is required for chief operators.
Company certification as a petroleum process operator or technician may be required.
A provincial stationary engineer licence, compressor operator or refrigeration certificate may be required when certain kinds of equipment are included in the process.
Certification in the transportation of dangerous goods (TDG), first aid, firefighting, or workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) may be required
5.0 (speaking); 5.0 (listening); 3.5 (reading); 4.0 (writing)
Chemical Technicians A valid CSCT membership.
Graduation from a program recognized by the CSCT or equivalent qualifications.
For chemical technologists: A minimum of two years of relevant and progressive experience in the chemical technology profession.
For chemical technicians: A minimum of four years of relevant and progressive experience in the chemical technology profession.
For BSc chemistry or chemical engineering: A minimum of three years of relevant and progressive experience in the chemical technology profession.
The certified Chemical Technologist (cCT) designation is for chemical technologists, chemical engineering technologists and other chemical related technologists.
overall band score of 7.0 with 6.0 on each band.
Diagnostic Sonographer Graduates of a Canadian-accredited educational program in Sonography who have successfully completed the Canadian Clinical Skills Assessment (CCSA™) Overall band of 7.5 with a minimum of 7.0 in each band
Electricians – Journeyman Certificate of Apprenticeship and Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) 6 overall
Engine Fitters n/a
Farm Entrepreneurs Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) applicants in National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Levels C and D occupations class nominees require a copy of their language test results 4 overall
Heavy Equipment Operators n/a n/a
I T Specialists – Minimum 3 years experience n/a n/a
Licensed Nursing Assistants Completion of NCLEX-RN; ARNPEI Registered Nurse Verification Overall: 7: speaking (7); listening (7.5)

Reading (6.5)

Writing (7.0)

Machinists n/a n/a
Machinists, CNC CNC precision machinists are required to complete a recognized post-secondary college program and/or an apprenticeship program. This occupation is Red Seal certified in PEI. 5 to 6 overall
Mechanics, Heavy Duty Voluntary registration as PEI Apprentice with completed periods of in-school training and pass progress exams to complete the program and qualify to write the Red Seal Exam 5 to 6 overall
Medical Doctors: GP’s and Specialists Required to have  (1) the Medical Council of Canada evaluating exam   (2) the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying exams Part I and Part II and  (3) to have Canadian qualifications and clinical experience. 7 overall and nothing lower than 7 in any of the bands
Pipe Fitters Certificate of Apprenticeship and Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) 5 to 6
Registered Nurses Completion of NCLEX-RN; ARNPEI Registered Nurse Verification Overall: 7: speaking (7); listening (7.5)
Reading (6.5)
Writing (7.0)
Research Biochemist Completion of medical school plus additional 5 years of Royal
College-approved residency training to become certified in medical biochemistry.
This residency training must include the following:
• 1 year of basic clinical training (including rotations in medicine, pediatrics,
obstetrics and surgery)
• 2 years of Royal College-approved residency in medical biochemistry, preferably
spent in one university centre (at least one of these two years must be spent in
the biochemistry laboratory of a general hospital)
• 1 year of residency that may be either in internal medicine or in pediatrics.
7 overall and nothing lower than 7 in any of the bands
Respiratory Therapist Proof of graduation from a CoARTE-approved respiratory therapy program
Proof of successful completion of the exam as provided through the Canadian Board for Respiratory Care (CBRC)
7 overall and nothing lower than 7 in any of the bands
Speech Language Pathologist n/a n/a
Social Worker Bachelor of Social Work and registration with the PEI Social Work Registration board 7 overall and nothing lower than 7 in any of the bands
University Professors, varying disciplines Completion of terminal degree (usually Phd) n/a
Welders, Aerospace – ASME Qualified Structural welders must be qualified under CSA W47.1, W47.2 and W186, which are administered by the Canadian Welding Bureau (part of the CWB Group) Admission to training course requires overall band of 6.5
Welders/Fabricators – C WB Flexcore, Tig-Wire, Stainless, Aluminum Structural welders must be qualified under CSA W47.1, W47.2 and W186, which are administered by the Canadian Welding Bureau (part of the CWB Group) Admission to training course requires overall band of 6.5

CLTD offers separate courses for IELTS reading, writing, listening and speaking. Classes run every Saturday starting September 16 for 6 weeks.

Each class is $300 and consists of 18 instructional hours. There is no set textbook or registration fee. CLTD supplies the resources for you. The courses can be taken independently of each other or as one package at a discounted price of $1000 (saving you $200).

CLTD offers courses at Murphy’s Community Centre in Charlottetown. Classes will be run in 3 hour blocks:

1. IELTS Reading 9 am to 12 pm
2. IELTS Writing 9 am to 12 pm
3. IELTS Listening 1 pm to 4 pm
4. IELTS Speaking 1 pm to 4 pm

On Saturday September 9, we are running our IELTS Mock Test at Murphy’s Community Centre after which we provide detailed individualized feedback on the results and what the applicants need to do in order to successfully achieve their desired results. The cost is $80. CLTD credits this to course tuition for continuing students.

To register, send an email to CLTD.PEI@gmail.com. Registration for the mock test and IELTS courses is on now. Mock test applicants have until 12 pm on Friday, September 8 to sign up.

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