Alberta continues to attract and retain a greater number of immigrants, according to an immigration report authored by the province. The recently released Alberta Immigration Progress Report 2011, details the record number of Canadian immigrants that are moving to Alberta and settling down in the province.
In 2006 Alberta welcomed 20,716 immigrants; this number was increased to 32,640 in 2010 as Canadian immigration issued visas to a record amount of newcomers. Alberta has also been successful in seeking out qualified Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) as their numbers in the province have similarly been on the rise. In 2006 Alberta and Canadian immigration welcomed 18,509 Temporary Foreign Workers, this number increased to over 24,000 in 2010.
Immigrants in Alberta now account for over 19% of the working age population. This trend of rising immigration to Alberta, is expected to continue as the projected shortfall of workers is estimated at over 77,000, over the next ten years. With such a deficit, Alberta and Canadian immigration will continue in their attempts to seek out and retain skilled immigrants and TFWs.
Part of Alberta’s success in retaining Canadian immigrants and attracting Temporary Foreign Workers, has been a focus on settlement services and the recognition of foreign credentials. Alberta has made numerous efforts to integrate Temporary Foreign Workers, as they have created two Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Offices, in Calgary and Edmonton, designed to help TFWs. In addition, to the offices Alberta has also created a Temporary Foreign Worker Helpline, that provides services to TFWs.
In the 2009/2010 fiscal year period, over 6,000 immigrants received an International Qualification Assessment Service certificate, which compared foreign educational qualifications to Canadian ones. Alberta created this Foreign Qualification Recognition Plan to enhance foreign qualification assessments. Provincial officials have also been successful in negotiating an increase in the federal funding of settlement services for immigrants and TFWs. Language training, for example, has been a priority in Alberta as there are currently over 40 Language Training and Enhanced Language Training projects underway in the province.
By providing extensive services to immigrants in Alberta, the province has allowed for the successful integration of immigrants and Temporary Foreign Workers. The success of the process can be measured by the fact that 83% of provincial nominees contacted in a survey, reported that they did not encounter difficulties in settling in Alberta.
Alberta is increasingly becoming a destination for immigrants, as the percentage of new Canadians received by the province has grown from 8.6% in 2006 to 11.6% in 2010. In addition to landing in Alberta, an increased number of immigrants are choosing to remain in the province, as over 85% of the new Canadian immigrants who landed there have done.
The complete 2011 Alberta Immigration Progress Report can be found here.