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Rather than the current approach of categorizing jobs based on skill type, the Canadian government will now categorize jobs based on a new Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) system.
Currently, NOC skill levels fall under four categories: A, B, C, and D.

NOC 2021 moves away from this approach and introduces the TEER system which has six categories: TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

TEER 0
Management occupations.

TEER 1
Completion of a university degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate); or
Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 2 (when applicable).

TEER 2
Completion of a post-secondary education program of two to three years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; or
Completion of an apprenticeship training program of two to five years; or
Occupations with supervisory or significant safety (police officers and firefighters) responsibilities; or
Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 3 (when applicable).

TEER 3
Completion of a post-secondary education program of less than two years at community college, institute of technology or CÉGEP; or
Apprenticeship training of less than 2 years; or
More than six months of on-the-job training, training courses or specific work experience with some secondary school education; or
Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 4 (when applicable).

TEER 4
Completion of secondary school; or
Several weeks of on-the-job training with some secondary school education; or
Several years of experience in a specific occupation from TEER category 5 (when applicable).

TEER 5
Short work demonstration and no formal educational requirements.

Why the Canadian government is replacing NOC skill levels with TEERs
Statistics Canada explains this change is necessary for several reasons.

First, defining occupations on “skill levels” is confusing, as the NOC focuses on occupation and not skills. Introducing the TEER system will focus on the education and experience required to work in a given occupation.

Second, Statistics Canada argues that the previous NOC categorization system artificially creates a low-versus high-skilled categorization. This redesign moves away from the high/low categorization to more accurately capture the skills required in each occupation.

The new TEER system has 516 occupations, up from 500 in NOC 2016. New occupations were created to reflect emerging fields in data science, cyber security and others.

Note: At this point, it is not known which TEER categories will be eligible for Express Entry-managed programs as well as other federal and provincial programs that currently require a “high skilled” NOC.

For now, immigration applicants will need to wait patiently for IRCC and ESDC to provide more information.
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