Pipe and steamfitters are one of the occupations eligible for the Alberta pilot program for temporary foreign workers
The provincial government of Alberta has announced that the Alberta Occupation-Specific Pilot for temporary foreign workers will be extended for another year, to July 31 2014.
The pilot started in June 2011 and allows qualifying foreign nationals to receive special one or two-year work permits that allow them to work for an employer without the employer being required to have a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Services Canada.
This allows the temporary foreign worker to move freely between employers as long as they are working in the approved occupation.
The list of qualifying occupations for the pilot was expanded in July 2012 to include welders, heavy duty equipment mechanics, ironworkers, millwright and industrial mechanics, carpenters and estimators.
The skilled trades added were those deemed to be in high demand in Alberta’s economy, particularly in its bustling energy sector which has faced a shortage of skilled labour in recent years.
The temporary foreign worker pilot is intended to alleviate the acute labour shortages that natural resource industry hubs like the city of Fort McMurray face (Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the provincial government of Alberta jointly announced this week that the Alberta temporary worker pilot program will be expanded to include more occupations.
The pilot project began in June 2011 and issues special work permits to foreign nationals who meet the program’s requirements, including being qualified in an eligible occupation, which allows them to work temporarily in Alberta in a single occupation without the constraints that typically come with work permits for temporary foreign workers, like requiring a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Services Canada to change employers.
The expansion of the program will add the following occupations to the list of approved occupations:
- Heavy duty equipment mechanic
- Millwright and industrial mechanic
The pilot previously accepted only a single occupation, pipe/steam-fitter.
Alberta faces some of the most severe labour shortages for skilled trades workers in Canada, as companies are unable to find a sufficient number of Canadian residents that are able and willing to work in often remote resource extraction sites like the oil sands in the province’s north.