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.
All financial assistance applications must include a mandatory employer letter from an approved employer to verify a worker's employment and layoff status.
- Sample employer letter (PDF, 7 KB)
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 re-employment application guideline (PDF, 222 KB)
- Bridge to re-employment application form (PDF, 151 KB)
- Change of circumstance application form (PDF, 119KB)
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
- Are not receiving their employer pension.
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.
Workers currently receiving the bridge-to-reemployment relief grant because they did not previously qualify for bridge-to-retirement will have until March 31, 2019 to apply to switch to the bridge-to-retirement relief grant.
Review the guidelines before making an appointment to submit your application.
- Bridge to retirement application guideline (PDF, 301 KB)
- Bridge to retirement application form (PDF, 118 KB)
- Change of circumstance application form (PDF, 119 KB)
- Monthly income verification form (PDF, 101 KB)
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.
- Relocation assistance application guideline (PDF, 118 KB)
- Relocation assistance application form (PDF, 177 KB)
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:
- Employment services are available online, by phone and in person at more than 50 Alberta Supports and Alberta Works centres.
- Employment training programs are delivered by agencies in communities across 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.
Enter your name and email address to sign up for monthly updates about the coal transition and supports available.
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 email@example.com.