Support for Albertans affected by coal phase out

Financial, employment and retraining support information for employees in the coal-fired electricity generation industry.

To be eligible for financial support programs, employees must have:

  • been laid off as a result of the phase out of coal-fired electricity generation
  • worked for one or more of the affected coal-fired power plants or mines for at least one year immediately prior to receiving a layoff notice effective January 2, 2018, or later

You are not eligible if you started working at the site(s) after January 1, 2018.


Coal power generation in Alberta is scheduled to be eliminated over time.

Coal workers affected by the phase out may be able to access financial, employment and retraining programs to support their transition.

Financial support programs

The Coal Workforce Transition Program provides financial assistance for re-employment, retirement, relocation and education as workers prepare to start new jobs or retire.

Employees bumped by thermal coal plant workers and apprentices in their training period may also be eligible for financial assistance. These workers may call the Career and Employment Services Contact Centre at 780-422-4266 (in Edmonton) or toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 for more information.

Workers can apply for each financial support program once.

All financial assistance applications must include a mandatory employer letter from an approved employer to verify a worker's employment and layoff status.

Note – The application process for Bridge to Re-employment, Bridge to Retirement and Relocation Assistance has changed. Applicants no longer need to book an appointment or go in person to apply for these relief grants. Applications are now accepted by email, fax or mail.

Contact information has also been updated:

Email: [email protected]
Fax: 587-469-6616


Alberta Coal Workforce Transition Program
Alberta Seniors, Community and Social Services
PO Box 17000
Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4R4

If you require assistance completing your application, contact the Career and Employment Services Contact Centre at 780-422-4266 (in Edmonton) or toll-free at 1-800-661-3753.

Bridging to re-employment

The bridge to re-employment relief grant provides financial assistance to workers as they search for a new job.

Workers will receive up to 75% of their previous weekly earnings when combined with Employment Insurance benefits.

Relief grant payments are issued every 2 weeks for 45 weeks or until they gain full-time employment, whichever is shorter. If a worker finds temporary full-time employment (35 hrs/week or more) payments will be paused for up to 12 months.

Review the guidelines before submitting your application.

Bridge to retirement

The bridge to retirement relief grant provides financial assistance to workers who are close to retirement. To qualify for this support, workers need to meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 53 years old
  • Have worked with the same company for at least 10 years
  • Not receiving any employer pension or employer retirement fund of any kind
    • Applicants who have transferred their employer pension and/or retirement fund, in full, into a locked-in investment vehicle, and can provide documentation that clearly indicates the funds are not accessible for the duration of their coal grant, are eligible for the bridge to retirement relief grant.
    • Old Age Security (OAS) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) are not employer pensions and have no impact on eligibility or reporting requirements.

Workers will receive up to 75% of their previous weekly earnings for:

  • up to 72 weeks,
  • or receipt of pension,
  • or when gross employment income is greater than the relief payment, whichever is shorter.

Payments will be issued every 2 weeks.

Review the guidelines before submitting your application.

Relocation assistance

Workers who have moved at least 40km to start a new job are eligible for up to $5,000 to help pay for moving-related expenses.

Workers can receive relocation assistance once they have been laid off and have moved for a confirmed new full-time job or for self-employment.

The one-time, lump sum payment will be made after the move takes place and the application and supporting documentation have been received and approved.

Affected workers who received a layoff notice effective Jan 2, 2018 and moved for employment prior to Jan 2018 are still eligible to apply for relocation assistance.

Review the guidelines before submitting your application.

Tuition voucher

The Coal and Electricity Transition Tuition (CETT) Voucher provides workers with a maximum of $12,000 to pursue post-secondary education to train for new careers.

If you work at one of the identified worksites, you are eligible for the CETT voucher if you have been employed for a year or more and:

  • The worksite is closing within the next five years, either permanently or temporarily.


  • You have received a formal written notice of layoff (regardless of whether the worksite is closing).

Onsite career counselling services

Career consultants can be available at each affected worksite to help workers determine their best options for future employment.

They will meet with workers one-on-one or in groups to develop individualized plans and lead workshops on how to:

  • develop a job-finding strategy
  • write an effective cover letter and resume
  • prepare for interviews

Counsellors can also help workers get training through government retraining programs.

Onsite transition to employment services

Employment service providers will be available to work directly with employees to share information and develop individualized plans.

These programs help workers identify existing skills and ways they can be transferred to new jobs.

If workers lack skills, short-term skills development courses can be provided so they can gain the skills needed to get hired.

To register in a Transition to Employment program, contact a Career and Employment Consultant at an Alberta Supports Centre, or call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.

Offsite employment services

Programs are available to unemployed Albertans throughout the province:

First Nations training to employment

Partnerships are created with First Nations, Metis and Indigenous communities and organizations to develop projects that help Indigenous people gain essential skills so they can participate in the workforce.

Workforce adjustment service

Under the new workforce adjustment service, facilitators can be hired to help employers, workers and unions work together to develop unique transition strategies and determine:

  • what supports and services are needed from government and other organizations
  • how those supports should be tailored to meet specific needs of coal workers

A list of qualified facilitators available for hire is being prepared for companies and unions.

Worker adjustment committees

Facilitators can assist employers, employees and unions to establish a worker adjustment committee to develop a transition plan for their worksite using labour market information or commissioned regional labour market studies.

Each committee will have a unique set of actions or activities created by the people who will benefit from them, such as:

  • arranging specialized training
  • organizing career or job fairs
  • matching current job openings in the region with people

Support for employers

Canada-Alberta Job Grant is an employer-driven training program where employers and government share the cost of training new and existing employees to increase their knowledge and skills. Employers choose who they want to train and the type of training offered.

Support for communities

Coal Community Transition Fund will help Alberta communities affected by the phase out of coal to undertake economic development initiatives that will support the transition away from reliance on coal-fired electricity generation.