Province tackles labour crunch

<p>A widened net of tools will be used in Alberta over the next decade to ease the strain caused by an ongoing labour crunch, Employment Minister Iris Evans announced yesterday.</p>

 

New tools available to combat skilled worker shortage


 

 

Marc Bence/for metro edmonton

 

Iris Evans, minister of employment, immigration and industry, announces a new workforce strategy at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers.





A widened net of tools will be used in Alberta over the next decade to ease the strain caused by an ongoing labour crunch, Employment Minister Iris Evans announced yesterday.



The construction industry, facing huge shortages in skilled labour, will work with the province to train workers properly while expanding local retention strategies and recruitment of foreign workers.



"I think we have a very strong blueprint," Evans said of the workforce strategy.



Meanwhile, government loans will be provided to immigrants to assist them in becoming accredited in their qualified professions. The loans can be used to cover tuition, exam fees and living expenses.



"They get that hand up, they’re able to pay back that loan when they start to work, and I think that’s very positive," she said. "This kind of program shows faith in a newcomer and it also, I think, reinforces that we’re a welcoming community, that our government can help people."




















workers needed




  • Programs will also be developed to attract more aboriginals and women into the trades, an industry currently dominated by men.






 
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