Alberta announces changes to TFW program; primary agriculture is exempt

The Alberta government says part of “prioritizing jobs for Albertans” includes making changes to the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program in the province.

Alberta’s government plans to limit the number and types of jobs available to new TFWs — making jobs “available for unemployed Albertans,” according to a press release.

As of November 1, additional occupational categories will be added to a “refusal to process list,” removing the majority of occupations from the TFW program, resulting in more than 1,350 available jobs.

TFWs that are part of the current program in Alberta will not be affected, the province says.

Alberta is using its authority under the TFW Annex of the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration and has reached this agreement with the federal government.

Accommodation and food services, retail trade, transportation, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services are the sectors affected. Occupations that are experiencing acute and proven labour shortages will be exempt from the new rules.

The province says that changes will not impact employers that are recruiting for certain occupations in agriculture technology, and caregiving sectors — employment gaps that rely heavily on TFWs.

The “refusal to process list” will be monitored quarterly, and the government will work with industry experts, businesses, and post-secondary institutions, municipalities, and organizations as the province’s economic conditions improve.

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