Premier Danielle Smith is eyeing a massive spike in her province’s Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) over the next three years, with nominations expected to soar by almost 67 per cent by the end of 2025.

“Alberta is still calling,” the premier wrote on her LinkedIn page. 

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“Right now there are over 100,000 job vacancies to fill in Alberta. We need more skilled workers to keep our economy firing on all cylinders!”

AAIP nominations expected to jump to 10,849 from 6,500 by 2025

The Prairie province has been lobbying Ottawa to up the number of immigrants it can welcome through its Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), which it calls the AAIP, to meet its labour shortage.

Now, it’s been given the green light to increase immigration under the AAIP to 9,750 nominations in 2023 and it expects to receive 10,140 nominations in 2024 and 10,849 nominations in 2025.

Those are substantial increases from the 6,500 allowed in last year.

“Alberta needs more immigrants,” said Alberta Immigration Minister Rajan Sawhney in a statement. “We need them to help grow our communities, address labour shortages in key sectors and help continue Alberta’s economic success. 

“I have lobbied the federal government for many months to receive an increase in Alberta’s nomination numbers and I am pleased to see that they have listened to my request.”

Kaycee Madu, Alberta’s minister responsible for skilled trades and professions, says immigrants bring new skills, ideas and vision to Alberta’s workforce.

“They also help us create jobs, diversify the economy and strengthen the workforce in all sectors of the economy,” said Madu.

Under the AAIP, Alberta operates its Rural Renewal and Rural Entrepreneur Streams to help support local economies across the province by attracting immigrants to rural Alberta where they can fill job vacancies outside the urban cores. 

“The world has caught on to the Renewed Alberta Advantage and the opportunities for success that can only be found here,” says Brian Jean, Alberta’s minister of jobs, economy and northern development.

Advanced education minister vows post-secondary education will be accessible for all immigrants

“The Rural Renewal and Rural Entrepreneur Streams ensure that skilled newcomers are supported and can thrive and prosper outside of Alberta’s largest cities and fill available positions throughout our province,” he said.

The AAIP provides newcomers in all sectors and at all skill levels, including temporary foreign workers and international graduates and entrepreneurs, with a variety of pathways to gain permanent residence in Alberta.

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides has pledged the cooperation of his department to ensure post-secondary education in Alberta is accessible and affordable so that everyone has the chance to gain the skills and knowledge they need to build successful careers and secure Alberta’s future.

Alberta’s business community is all smiles about the opportunity to grow the provincial labour force through immigration. 

“This significant increase to the number of newcomers Alberta will be able to welcome through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program will be a meaningful positive to our economy and society,” said Business Council of Alberta president Adam Legge.

“Immigration helps Alberta in so many ways, one of which is to help fill critical shortages in high-demand occupations. We’ve called for a major increase in accelerated economic immigration to meet these needs and we applaud the provincial and federal governments for working together collaboratively to make this happen.”

Alberta has added 120,000 jobs since the start of 2021 but there are still about 74,140 job openings and a forecasted shortage of 33,100 workers by 2025 across many occupations, skill levels and sectors.

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