As labour demand in Alberta shows no sign of stopping, the government of Canada seeks to facilitate the immigration process for foreign skilled workers to fill the numerous vacant positions in the Western province. Most recently, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturism Minister Jason Kenney along with Alberta Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education Stephen Khan announced a new stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker pilot project, which will enable more employers in Alberta to hire temporary foreign workers when Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available.
This new stream will be an addition to the Temporary Worker Annex of the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration. The pilot project which was originally launched on June 1st, 2011, enables eligible foreign workers to be hired in Alberta and work temporarily in specified occupations. While the project previously limited eligible occupations to the steamfitter/pipefitter industry, effective July 16th, 2012 the program has expanded to the following occupations:
- Heavy duty equipment mechanic
- Millwright and Industrial mechanic
The program’s expanded list of occupations should come as great news to employers in Alberta as well as the foreign workers seeking Canadian work permits, as this program does not require a Labour Market Opinion nor is the work permit employer-specific. This will significantly simplify and speed up the immigration process and facilitate the movement of labour of foreign workers both to and within Alberta.
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