With a shortage of skilled workers, and growing demand for labor in the oil sands, the province of Alberta has made some major changes to its immigration program to make it more accessible.
The changes include allowing employers to hire foreign workers for food services, construction, and cleaning. They have also made it possible for international students working in Alberta, as well as some skilled workers on temporary visas to become eligible for permanent residence. In addition, the province has added more semi-skilled job categories for applicants, provided that they have a qualified job offer. Some categories added include plasterers, drywallers, upholsterers, and managers of food and retail service.
Another important amendment has been made regarding foreign workers living in other Canadian provinces. Immigrants not working in Alberta, but wishing to immigrate to the province Immigrants, may now do so through the Federal Skilled Workers program with a few conditions. They must have a job offer, PHD, or at least one year of relevant skilled work experience, in addition to proof of language proficiency.
Younger Canadians in recent years have not been going into trades, which has created this shortage of labor and increased demand for foreign workers. Alberta has been the forefront of this with many major up and coming construction projects all across the province. Thousands of workers will be needed in Alberta and across the country in the next decade for different trades, and Canada will be looking to make sure that the immigration process is as quick and efficient as possible. Through the Federal Skilled workers program, Canada hopes to shorten the application process to as little as a few months, and attract skilled workers to help build this country.