A landscape shot of Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, Canada

The government of Alberta, with federal approval, has launched an Employer Liaison Service that aims to match open job positions with qualified local workers. As part of this two-year pilot program, Albertan companies will not be allowed to avail of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) when hiring in any of 29 high-skilled occupations.

These occupations have been placed on a "refusal to process" list, and companies attempting to hire in these categories through the TFWP will instead be contacted by the Alberta department of Labour and directed to potential workers locally.

However, according to Employment and Social Development Canada's open data portal, of the nearly 10,000 temporary foreign workers who came to work in Alberta in 2016, only 400 were in the now restricted skilled employment categories

The policy is the first of its kind in Canada, and federal Minister of Employment, Patty Hajdu, was on hand in the provincial capital, Edmonton, to launch the initiative, along with Alberta Labour Minister, Christina Gray.

"We're putting Albertans first in line for available jobs across the province. By helping more people get work, we will strengthen Alberta's economy; I'm proud to be launching this program as a joint effort between Canada's and Alberta's governments," stated Hajdu.

As the provincial and federal governments continue to work together, additional ways to keep locals first in line for jobs will also be considered, including opportunities for people who are underrepresented in the workforce, such as newcomers, youth, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities.

Alberta refusal to process occupation list

NOC code Occupation
0112 Human resources managers
0211 Engineering managers
1225 Purchasing agents and officers
1523  Production logistics co-ordinators
2131 Civil engineers
2132 Mechanical engineers
2133 Electrical and electronic engineers
2212 Geological and mineral technologists and technicians
2231 Civil engineering technologists and technicians
2233 Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians
2261 Non-destructive testers and inspection technicians
7202 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
7231 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
7237 Welders and related machine operators
7241 Electricians (except industrial and power system)
7242 Industrial electricians
7251 Plumbers 
7271 Carpenters
7301  Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
7302 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
7311 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
7312 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
7322 Motor vehicle body repairers
7511 Transport truck drivers

Canadian employers: To learn more about your options for hiring foreign workers, please visit this TFWP page. If you wish to hire through the TFWP, please contact wp@canadavisa.com. A legal expert will provide a free consultation.

Foreign workers: If you have received a job offer from a Canadian employer and wish to submit an inquiry about getting a work permit and working legally in Canada, please complete the form on this page.