The Canadian Government expands Alberta’s Foreign Worker Project

Immigration authorities in Canada announced that they will broaden the Temporary Foreign Worker pilot project that gives the opportunity to employers in Alberta to hire foreign workers in various highly-demanded occupations. The reason why the program was launched is that Alberta is the province which is having some of the most serious labour shortage problems in the country.

The project allows to Alberta companies to temporarily employ people from abroad when local citizens or permanent residents are not available. The pilot program began on 1 June 2011. Its main objective is to bring highly skilled immigrants to Alberta in order to fill short-time jobs for which a high level of demand exists.

The program provides successful applicants with a work permit that allows them to change freely employers in Alberta without the need for authorization from Human Resources and Skills Development Service Canada. Initially, only Streamlifters and Pipelifters were included. After the expansion the following professions will be added:

  • Welder
  • Heavy-duty equipment mechanic
  • Ironworker
  • Millwright and industrial mechanic
  • Carpenter
  • Estimator

According to Stephen Khan Alberta Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education, the decision to expand the Temporary Foreign Worker Project was taken after careful consultation with a large number of Alberta employers.

In order for the protection of the Canadian citizens to be ensured, all of the applicants for the program will be required to secure a job offer from a local employer. The job offer must show that the salary that will be paid is analogous with the average wage that is paid to the Canadian citizens who are working similar jobs in the region. Furthermore, employers must demonstrate that the working conditions for the job will be in accordance with the current provincial labour market standards.

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