New Alberta immigration program aimed at technology jobs

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Similar to other express immigration routes in Alberta, in order to apply, potential employees have to first have gone through the process to start an express entry profile with the Government of Canada.

Candidates then submit that information and their employment or job offer with an Alberta tech employer online to the Alberta government. Provincial officials then assess the information and the eligible candidates will be sent an email inviting them to submit an application to Alberta’s accelerated program.

The Alberta government has the ability to nominate up to 6,250 people through its various immigration programs.

In a statement Thursday, NDP labour critic Christina Gray criticized the current government for cutting an NDP program announced in 2018 that aimed to add 3,000 technology-related post-secondary slots over five years.

“While the announcement today that Alberta’s technology companies will have more options to recruit overseas talent is welcome news, it is not a silver-bullet solution to the challenges we face in ensuring we have the skills we need to generate growth in emerging industries,” she said.

“Through prior failures, the UCP has actively damaged opportunities for Albertans to succeed in our important high-tech industry.”

Like the rest of the world, particularly in North America, Alberta is experiencing a labour shortage, Shandro said.

“How we are proactive in our immigrant nominee program is going to be really important in how we address that. But it’s going to also require a lot of other different strategies, which we’re still working on and hoping to be able to announce in 2022,” he said.

Irfhan Rawji, founder and CEO of Calgary-based MobSquad, said the new program will make Alberta the easiest place in the country to bring technology professionals to.

“This accelerated pathway in Alberta is a competitive advantage for this province. It’ll help support the momentum of the tech innovation ecosystem, and allow us to attract highly talented workers here,” he said at a government news conference.

ajoannou@postmedia.com

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