About the Employer Liaison Service

Why was this service developed?

The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta want Albertans to be considered first for available jobs in the province, to ensure Alberta's skilled workforce is supporting a thriving economy. To achieve this, the governments of Canada and Alberta have partnered to offer the Employer Liaison Service to help connect Alberta employers with available local labour pools.

Who is the Employer Liaison Service for?

The Employer Liaison Service is for employers impacted by the new Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s “Refusal to Process” list. This list identifies “high-wage” occupations where Labour Market Impact Assessments will not be processed because there is a sufficient supply of unemployed, skilled Albertans looking for work in these occupations.

How does the Employer Liaison Service work?

The Employer Liaison Service will provide enhanced, hands-on and proactive support services to these affected employers. The service will connect affected employers with recruitment options that employers may not have used or have underused to attract and retain Albertans with the skills they need. Some examples of recruitment options may include, but are not limited to Job Bank, Employer Connections/Job Fairs at Alberta Works and Alberta Supports offices, Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) resources, and ways to connect with untapped labour pools.

The Government of Canada will refer Alberta employers who are affected by the Refusal to Process list to the Employer Liaison Service. Staff will conduct an employer needs assessment which will help regional Alberta government staff connect with the employer to recommend and facilitate connections with available pools of local labour. 

How long is this service available?

The Employer Liaison Service was introduced on April 19, 2017 and will operate for a minimum of two years. The Refusal to Process list of occupations may change within those two years, depending on labour market information. Information about service delivery beyond two years is subject to review and will be available in 2019.

What are the fees for this service, if any?

There are no fees for this service.

How does an unemployed Albertan connect with employers through the Employer Liaison Service?

The Employer Liaison Service assists Alberta employers with locating locally available Albertan and Canadian workers to fill high-wage occupations that are not processed for a Labour Market Impact Assessment under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. If unemployed, many programs and services are available to help an Albertan prepare and connect with employers advertising positions, including employers eligible to use the Employer Liaison Service.

A job seeker can consider some of the following options:

  • Job Match: is a tool within the Government of Canada’s Job Bank and is a free service that allows employers and job seekers to register and be matched based on their respective needs and profiles.
  • Career Information Hotline: is a service that gives advice and referrals about career, education and employment options in Alberta. Call 1-800-661-3753 to speak to a career advisor.
  • The Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS): is a website that includes direct links to Job Bank and other job boards and provides helpful career planning tools.
  • Opportunity Alberta: is a website that provides information about working in Alberta, including regulations around work and transferring credentials; you can also subscribe to receive emails about Alberta labour market events, news and resources.

About the Refusal to Process List

How are the high-wage occupations for the Refusal to Process list determined?

The Refusal to Process list is jointly developed and reviewed by Alberta Labour and Employment and Social Development Canada. Several labour market indicators are used to examine labour availability including Employment Insurance beneficiaries and the unemployment rate.

Will the Refusal to Process list of occupations be reviewed, and can occupations be added or removed?

Yes. The Refusal to Process list will be closely monitored jointly by Alberta Labour and Employment and Social Development Canada. Both governments will work together to consider how to best respond as labour market conditions evolve. This could result in occupations being added or removed from the Refusal to Process list in Alberta, based on the availability of local labour.

Can employers seek a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in circumstances where highly specialized skills are needed but the most appropriate National Occupation Classification (NOC) code is one that is on the Refusal to Process list?

NOC codes on the Refusal to Process list will not have an LMIA processed. Using labour market indicators, the governments of Alberta and Canada determined there is sufficient supply of local labour for the occupations on the Refusal to Process list.

How does the Refusal to Process list affect pathways to permanent residence, such as Express Entry or the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment application that supports permanent residence (not an application for a temporary foreign worker) is not subject to the Refusal to Process list.

Please note, applicants of programs for permanent residence must meet all criteria described by the respective program. Both Express Entry and the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program provide information online about their eligibility requirements.

Does the Refusal to Process list affect Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions?

No. An employer seeking to hire a foreign worker using an LMIA exemption (e.g. through an international trade agreement) is subject to the International Mobility Program, which is different than the requirements of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Is a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) suspended or revoked if it was already issued for an occupation on the Refusal to Process list?

No. The federal government will not suspend or revoke LMIAs that were issued prior to April 19, 2017 for an occupation on the Refusal to Process list.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

We encourage employers who have questions about the Employer Liaison Service to call 1-877-427-6419 or submit their questions by email to EmployerLiaison@gov.ab.ca.