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Quebec Government To Fund Recruitment Of Temporary Foreign Workers To Address Labour Shortages

The Government of Quebec has pledged to release fundings to help in the recruitment and integration of temporary foreign workers and nearly $55 million is projected.

Jean Boulet, Canada’s labour minister, announced $20.9 million of that total will help international recruitment efforts by enterprises in the province.

Currently, Quebec is facing a labour shortage unseen in more than Forty (40) years and has one of the biggest job vacancy rates among Canada’s provinces.

To meet their labour demands, a growing number of business owners have been turning to temporary foreign workers since the beginning of 2018. That year saw temporary work permits sent out for the province soared by Thirty-Six (36) per cent over 2o17.

A report by CBC News indicates this trend has increased since the October 2018 election of the Quebec’s new Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government, which introduced a temporary Twenty (20) per cent reduction in the number of migrants admitted to the province this year.

Subsidies for international recruitment, moving expenses

Among the initiatives, released August 26 are commitments to partially fund international recruitment efforts by enterprises and close up to $1,000 in relocation expenses for temporary foreign workers.

News reports from the province’s ministry of labour said the funding will support approximately 2,000 Quebec businesses in their international recruitment efforts.

The remaining $33.9 million will go to two (2) streams that work with temporary foreign workers to help them quickly integrate into Quebec’s labour market — The Programme d’intégration en emploi de personnes formées à l’étranger référées par un ordre professionnel (IPOP) and the Programme d’aide à l’intégration des immigrants et des minorités visibles (PRIIME).

“The recruitment of temporary foreign workers is an option that many business owners are turning to in their efforts to tackle labour shortages,” Boulet declared in a statement.

The minister said the new initiatives will help ensure that the integration of temporary foreign workers into Quebec’s labour market is “durable and positive.”

Quebec’s CAQ government has faced criticism from business owners in the province for cutting immigration despite the worsening labour crisis.

In a report filed with the government earlier this month, the province’s chambers of commerce federation said Quebec requires about 60,000 foreign workers per year — 20,000 more than the government plans on receiving in 2019 —in order to cut labour shortages and encourage economic growth.

Others have said that resorting to temporary foreign workers to address the gaps is a “quick fix”, which may not address the fact that Quebec’s population is ageing and its labour pool is dwindling.

The CAQ government insists its immigration policies will make sure immigrants are adequately integrated and that those admitted meet existing labour requirements in the province.