‘Alberta is Calling’ phase three headed to B.C., out east for skilled trades recruitment

By Lauryn Heintz

Phase three of the wildly popular Alberta is Calling campaign is up and rolling, with the province hoping it will recruit skilled tradespeople to fill critical roles in the labour market.

The province said Wednesday the third installment of the initiative had moved to B.C., Quebec, and Ontario, aiming to entice trades workers to make the move to Alberta.

Those who do so are eligible for a one-time, $5,000 refundable tax credit, funded by the Alberta government through a $10 million fund.

The money allotted in this year’s budget will support 2,000 workers in the trades to move to Alberta, according to the province.

It adds Alberta is “the best place to live, work, invest and raise a family.”

“Alberta’s continued economic growth presents a wealth of opportunities for skilled workers from across the country,” Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Trade, Matt Jones said in a statement. “The Alberta is Calling campaign and Moving Bonus reaffirm our government’s commitment to attracting top talent and addressing labour force needs for sectors that are crucial to sustaining our province’s prosperity.

“It also demonstrates we are serious about filling productive jobs with productive workers to support our expanding infrastructure needs.”

The campaign first began in August 2022 under former Premier Jason Kenney, in a big to help address the province’s labour shortages.

Phase one began that same month, and worked to attracted workers in healthcare, trades and technology from Toronto and Vancouver.

Phase two followed in March 2023, and targeted regions in Ontario and Atlantic Canada with the highest rates of unemployment.

The province says Phase three will run from May 1 to July 2, 2024, and is much narrower in scope than the previous phases and used to marking the $5,000 moving bonus.

The motivation behind this campaign is based on predicted increased demand on Alberta’s construction sector.

Alberta cites a recent report from BuildForce Canada, which projects total construction employment in Alberta will increase by another 14,000 workers between 2024 and 2033.

“Alberta’s skilled trades offer many incredible career opportunities. Our province is about to experience a massive uptick in work through projects such as Air Products and Dow,” executive director of Building Trades Alberta, Terry Parker, said. “If you are looking for a beautiful province with no shortage of work, this is a great time to come to Alberta.”

Phase 3 of the campaign includes advertising on post-secondary campuses, restaurants, bars and gyms; radio, streaming and social media advertising; and an updated AlbertaisCalling.ca website, according to the province. It’s expected to cost approximately $2.5 million.

Advertising will apparently highlight the career and lifestyle advantages of living in Alberta, the province claims, which including a “thriving job market, high wages, the lowest taxes in Canada, affordable housing, and diverse communities.”

Alberta saw the largest net gain in interprovincial migration in 2023 than any other year, according to provincial data; more than 55,000 people moved to the province last year.

This comes amid what all levels of government — municipal, provincial, and federal — have referred to as a housing crisis.

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