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Taber embraces diversity and economic growth through Alberta Advantage Immigration Program

Posted on June 6, 2024 by Taber Times

By Nerissa McNaughton
For the Times

Alberta faces a significant labour shortage that is expected to continue, impacting all sectors over the coming years. 

According to Alberta’s job market forecasts, several occupations are predicted to experience notable shortages. Among these, the construction trades are particularly affected. By 2030, the province anticipates a shortage of more than 3,000 workers in roles such as construction trades helpers and labourers. 

A detailed look into the current and forecasted job market reveals key areas of concern and potential opportunities for strategic workforce development.

• Statistics Canada data shows that Alberta’s construction job vacancy rate surged to 6.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2023. 

• Healthcare and trades occupations have seen a significant rise in job postings, experiencing annual increases of 16 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively, since 2018.

• Businesses in Alberta continue to report staffing shortages, with a majority (60 per cent) indicating significant or moderate difficulties in hiring. 

One potential solution to Alberta’s labour shortages is increasing immigration. In 2023, landed immigrants made up about 27 per cent of Alberta’s population, the second-highest proportion in Western Canada. Leveraging immigration programs, such as the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program, can help address these gaps by attracting skilled workers to the province.

The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) is an economic immigration initiative designed to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs to Alberta. By nominating individuals for permanent residence, the program aims to address job shortages and bolster the provincial economy. The AAIP includes various streams to cater to different types of applicants:

• Tourism and Hospitality Stream: For candidates with a full-time job offer in Alberta’s tourism and hospitality sector.

• Alberta Opportunity Stream: For those already living and working in Alberta with a job offer from a provincial employer.

• Alberta Express Entry Stream: For candidates in the federal Express Entry pool, including dedicated pathways for healthcare professionals and technology workers.

• Rural Renewal Stream: For temporary foreign workers with job offers in designated rural communities, also supporting refugees through the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot.

• Entrepreneurial Streams: Multiple streams for entrepreneurs and graduates looking to start or buy businesses, including the Rural Entrepreneur Stream, Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, Farm Stream, and Foreign Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

The Town of Taber has actively participated in the AAIP, particularly through the Rural Renewal Stream. This involvement underscores Taber’s commitment to fostering a diverse and vibrant community.

According to a previous media statement given by Amy Allred, Economic Development Officer, “Taber is already so diverse with many cultures to celebrate and there is so much going on. We have a lot of great businesses and new businesses and entrepreneurs and hard workers and we need the labour force to be able to support that growth.”

One of the primary initiatives in Taber is to provide newcomers with job opportunities and a place to live, ensuring that the town can sustain and grow its local economy. The program not only helps fill labour shortages but also enriches the community culturally and economically by attracting skilled individuals and families who contribute to the town’s development.

Alberta’s labour shortage is a multifaceted issue affecting various sectors. Addressing these challenges will require a combination of targeted immigration policies, enhanced workforce development programs, and industry-specific strategies to ensure Alberta remains competitive and economically resilient.

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