Support for workers affected by coal phase out

Financial, employment and retraining supports for workers affected by the end of coal-fired electricity generation in Alberta.

Overview

The Government of Canada has mandated the end of coal-fired electricity generation by Dec 31, 2029. This lines up closely with Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan.

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

Sign up to receive email updates on supports for coal workers.

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.

To be eligible for financial support programs, employees must have 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 Jan 2, 2018, or later.

Employees bumped by thermal coal plant workers and apprentices in their training period may also be eligible for financial assistance. These workers can call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

Workers can apply for each financial support program once.

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 making an appointment to submit your application.

Bridge to retirement

The bridge to retirement relief grant provides financial assistance to workers who are close to retirement but are not yet eligible for their employer pension. Workers who are eligible for their employer pension, but wish to delay it, are not eligible for the relief grant.

Workers will receive up to 75% of their previous weekly earnings until they’re eligible for employer pension, or 72 weeks, 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 making an appointment to submit 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 Voucher provides workers with a maximum of $12,000 to pursue post-secondary education to train for new careers.

Workers are eligible for the tuition voucher if they:

  • worked for at least one year and lost their job due to the phase out
  • started studies within 5 years of having been laid off

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.

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.

Sign up for updates

Enter your name and email address to sign up for monthly updates about the coal transition and supports available.

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

The personal information you provide is being collected and used pursuant to section 33(c) and 39(1)(a) of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The information is collected for those who wish to receive information about the coal transition. Questions concerning the collection and use of this information should be directed to edt.coaltransition@gov.ab.ca.