Although Alberta was one of the western provinces whose population growth was highlighted in recent Canadian census reports, it remains underemployed in many vital areas. At the last meeting of energy companies, labour shortages were listed as their most significant business challenge. Alberta has one of the highest employment growth rates in Canada. However, they still lack skilled workers in many areas.
Over the next eight years, oil sands production in the region is expected to increase from 1.6 million barrels per day to more than 3 million. This means the county will still need skilled workers to fill jobs in this growing field. Although Alberta has one of the highest population growth rates recorded in the last census, it still faces a shortage of skilled workers to fill all vacancies.
There has been discussion about relaxing immigration rules to help fill some of the jobs where workers are most needed. Another problem facing Canada and other countries is that large numbers of baby boomers are expected to retire shortly. These workers will also require replacement, in addition to the jobs that are already open. To address these issues, Canada is currently reviewing immigration regulations. They are beginning to shift the focus from educational training to actual work experience as a basis for admission to federal skilled worker programs.
Whether applicants are considering immigration or a temporary work solution, Canada offers several options to attract workers who need them to fill vacancies in their workforce. Some of them:
Federal Skilled Worker Program:
Of the 29 eligible occupations listed for this program, several skilled and semi-skilled occupations apply to the energy industry. The list of professions shows the skills Canada is trying hard to fill.
Alberta Immigrant Nomination Program:
In some cases, it is easier to be accepted as an immigrant under the nomination programs. These focus on vacancies in related fields. For Alberta, there are many jobs available in the energy industry, but there are also opportunities for careers that complement the industry.
Temporary work permits
Temporary work permits are also an option to explore. These allow people to live and work in Canada while they decide whether they wish to immigrate. In some cases, the temporary work permit is just one step in the immigration process. However, some temporary workers want to retain their current nationalities even if they cannot find work in their field of work in their home country.