Tradedrain UK Losing Skilled Tradesmen to Canada

The United Kingdom is going to experience an existential crisis to its skilled trades industries in the next decade as trades people sign up to depart in droves and its being called the TradeDrain.

One of the issues currently facing the UK economy is that once trade apprentices have obtained their NVQ Level three and a couple of years experience they are lured to leave to other nations facing the same chronic skills shortage. It just so happens these other nations are beautiful places to live and work!

Traditionally the main destination for British skilled trades people has been the sunny sandy beaches of Australia. Australia has had a long term skilled migration program to poach the UKs skilled workers to their shores, offering generous visa and permanent residency status to anyone skilled and qualified who was willing to make the move and help the nation fill it’s skill gaps.

However, while all eyes have been glued on Summer Bay, the United Kingdom is facing a much larger threat to its already depleted workforce of skilled tradespeople.

Electricians, Plumbers, Painters, Bricklayers as well as Butchers and Bakers and Cabinetmakers and all their trade qualified friends, have been targeted by the biggest immigration program the Western World has seen in this generation.

The country offering this incredibly generous program to the UK workforce is one of the most desirable places to live on Earth, Canada.

Tradespeople are leaving the UK in increasing droves, a trend we at Emigrate Canada are going to see increase rapidly over the next 2 years as those tradespeople with their immigration applications already lodged for Canada, receive their acceptances and move.

These guys are literally picking up their snowboards and mountain bikes and getting on a plane bound for Vancouver, with promises of huge demand for their trades, an incredible lifestyle with all the benefits that Canada has to offer in terms of free health care, great schools, clean environment and a welcoming attitude. Promises which those that have already arrived and settled have experienced have been met.

Tomas Wade of Essex moved with his Finance to Canada early last year. A British Qualified Domestic Electrician, he had no trouble at all settling in to his new life. And no regrets.

“I simply love it here. It’s even better than expected, I mean I’d not even been to Canada before I applied, and it is the best thing I’ve ever done. The process was all handled by my visa emigrate canada visa agent, and I did my test to get my equivalency qualification for Canada with Red Seal and I was offered a place right away. I’m on my way to permanent residency and we plan to stay here and raise our family.

The lifestyle is amazing. My fiance and I are both mad keen snowboarders, and so in winter, all season we just head up the mountain every weekend. The other thing about Canada is that I never had to work in the “cold” like I did back home. Everything here is designed around snow in Winter and so everything is heated, it is a whole new level of work. I love it. I plan on opening my own business in the coming years, there is so much demand for Electricians in British Columbia and so much work on it’s nothing like home.”

Alex from Emigrate Canada has seen this growing TradeDrain trend unfold over the past few years.

“You see there is the Canadian Government putting out a program for skilled immigration that really is the most generous and most well funded we have seen in the industry, and we’ve been doing this for the last 20 years. Canada is a tier 1 Country, it ticks all the boxes for immigration and has made the process as attractive as possible and has produced a result other countries have not been able to match.

The list of occupations in need in Canada is enormous, if you are qualified at something, chances are high Canada needs you. With all the stability Canada has to offer, health care system, great schools, low crime rate and all the fun and adventure lifestyle sports and leisure, Britons are really looking at their options and seeing the grass is greener – or the snow is deeper, and going for it, much to Canada’s delight.”

This boom may however be short lived. Canada has announced they want to attract 1 million skilled migrants to their shores over the next 2-3 years, and then they’re going to drop the program back.

So this is the chance of a generation to many. A special moment in time to be able to live and work in your trade in Canada and be on the path to dual residency, to take advantage of the economic demand for so many trades and professions and reap the rewards individually along the way.

What is admirable about Canada’s program is that they have been completely ambitious and made the entry process accessible. Unlike programs such as Australia’s where the cost of the skills equivalency process is into the thousands of dollars, Canada, knowing their need, has kept their costs for many of the trades and professions they need within the few hundred dollar mark. Overall this puts Canada even further ahead.

One of the effects the UK has not yet felt is that the numbers of tradespeople having applied for Canada in the past few months has escalated, these application take 6 months or more to process, so once they start coming through and being approved, expect to see that it is even harder to get a plumber out to fix the leaking pipes.

Part of the issue according to Tomas Wade is the uncertainty of the Brexit situation and the stagnant economic conditions of the UK over the past few years, he says “why would anyone be waiting around in the bad times, when you can just move to Canada, a country enjoying the good times, boom times. It just makes sense to come”. He says he has 8 friends who are in the process of emigrating to Canada, most with their families.

Canada has done a great job of promoting themselves as a destination for skilled workers seeking the good life, and the workers of the UK are answering their call.

It will be interesting to see how the UK Government handles this increasing gaping hole in their skilled worker needs with Brexit playing out and skilled workers heading off for better pay, better conditions and weekends filled with snowboarding.

Tradedrain – UK Losing Skilled Tradesmen to Canada

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Editor in Chief -

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at and serves as Editor-in-Chief.