Canada News Wire
Albertans will be first in line for available jobs under a new federal-provincial pilot project that will help employers hire locally.
The Honourable Christina Gray, Alberta’s Minister of Labour, and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour made the announcement today (April 19) in Edmonton, Alberta at an event hosted by the Alberta Construction Association, which develops standard industry practices and promotes a highly skilled workforce.
The new Employer Liaison Service will be piloted over 24 months and will provide targeted and enhanced recruitment support to Alberta employers to hire Albertans rather than temporary foreign workers.
The initial focus of the service will be to support Alberta employers, looking for high-skilled workers in sectors with higher rates of unemployment. To support this effort, 29 high-wage occupations that have a sufficient local labour supply have been jointly identified and placed on a new “Refusal to Process” list under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
To find and hire unemployed Albertans, employers will get access to labour market information and better support to take advantage of existing federal and provincial services. Both governments will continue to share information on labour market programming, including on the TFWP to better ensure integrity of the Program and better protect against exploitation of temporary foreign workers. Additional measures under the TFWP will include updating the existing six per cent rule quarterly, which is a refusal to process for certain occupations in the Accommodations and Food Services and Retail Trade sectors where the unemployment rate in an Economic Region is six per cent or greater.
The governments will continue to collaborate to increase awareness and promotion of the Work-Sharing Program for those employers directly or indirectly affected by the economic downturn, given its recent positive impact in Alberta.
As both governments continue to work together, additional ways to keep Albertans first in line for jobs will also be considered, including opportunities for people who are underrepresented in the workforce, such as Indigenous peoples, youth, newcomers and persons with disabilities.
This pilot complements the proposed Budget 2017 Government of Canada investments to provide a one-time payment of $30 million to the Government of Alberta to support provincial actions that will stimulate economic activity and employment in Alberta’s resource sector.
“This project will help make life better for hardworking Albertans. The Employer Liaison Service will help Alberta workers find new opportunities with employers across the province who are looking to fill highly-skilled positions. We have an exceptional pool of talented, well-trained and motivated workers in Alberta and our government is working with the Government of Canada to ensure they’re first in line for available jobs.”
– Christina Gray, Minister of Labour.
“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.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.