Labor shortage is an ongoing problem in the province of Alberta and this is expected to continue.
Earlier this year, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) was revised, and many questioned the move, stressing that it worsened the problem and is harmful to the country’s economy.
However, in a counter statement issued by Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney, he said that what Alberta needs to solve the problem is not more temporary foreign workers but more permanent residents moving to the province, stressing the need to train the unemployed locals so that they can get into the job vacancies available in companies. He further reiterated that the revision to the TFWP will not be reversed soon.
Kenny pointed to Canada’s new Express Entry as the solution to the problem, mentioning that the program is driven by employers and the work demand, and is designed for fast turnover.
To boost incentive for employers to look for local workers and permanent residents and to give chance to the unemployed and untrained citizens of the province, Kenney issued a statement together with Alberta Labor Minister Ric McIver regarding a new federal job grant that will issue a $15,000 grant for every employee that undergoes skills training.
The grant will be a joint project between the government and employer, with the government providing the $10,000 and the employer providing the $5,000 per worker – to be used for apprenticeship and training.
The project is set to run for 6 years, with 800 as the number of employees targeted for training. It is projected that thousands of employees would have been trained by the end of 6 years, and this is expected to address the need for more workers in the Province.