Evaluation of the Canadian Experience Class

1 Introduction

1.1 Purpose of the Evaluation

This report presents the findings of the evaluation of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program, which examined the program from its inception in 2008 to 2014. The evaluation was conducted in fulfillment of requirements under the Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation,Footnote 1 and examined program relevance and performance in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on the Evaluation FunctionFootnote 2.

1.2 Brief Program Profile

The CEC was introduced in 2008 to help address challenges in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, which was experiencing substantial application backlogs and wait times, as well as to increase Canada’s labour market responsiveness and global competitiveness in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers and international graduates who had demonstrated their ability to integrate into the Canadian labour market.

The CEC is based on a streamlined pass/fail assessment of a few simple criteria linked to successful integration in Canada. The program was originally comprised of two streams with slightly different requirements (a student and a worker stream), but underwent regulatory changes in 2013 which harmonized the two streams into one merged program. Currently, all CEC applicants are required to have 12 months of Canadian work experience, within the 36 months prior to applying, in a NOC level 0, A or B occupation, as well as meet the language requirements associated with their respective occupational levels.

The intended clients of the CEC include highly skilled foreign workers and international graduates, implicating many of CIC’s temporary resident programs, including the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW), the International Student Program (ISP), and the International Mobility Programs (IMP), including the Post Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP), a program specifically designated for international graduates.

A detailed profile of the CEC is provided in the Extended Evaluation ReportFootnote 3.

1.2.1  Characteristics of CEC Principal Applicants

Administrative data showed that CEC Principal Applicants (PA):

  • Tended to be single (66.8%), males (64.6%) and were between 26 to 35 years of age upon admission as a permanent resident (64.8%).
  • Many had a university degree upon admission as a permanent resident (63.7%).
  • Almost all (99.2%) reported knowing English and/or French upon admission as a permanent resident.
  • About half of the CEC PAs admitted were either born in China (22.3%), India (19.7%) or the Philippines (6.4%).
  • Over 95% of CEC PAs were intending to settle in Ontario (57.6%), Alberta (22.8%) or British Columbia (16.3%) upon admission as a permanent resident.

For more information on the profile of CEC PAs, refer to Appendix A: Profile of CEC Principal Applicants.

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