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
|0112||Human resources managers|
|1225||Purchasing agents and officers|
|1523||Production logistics co-ordinators|
|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)|
|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|