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Quebec Pledges Additional $2.1 Million To Assist Companies Recruit Temporary Foreign Workers

The Quebec province has pledged an extra $2.1 million to help employers in their efforts to recruit temporary foreign workers.

The Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, Jean Boulet and, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity announced the funding on October 16.

Boulet claim the extra funds will be used to reimburse up to about 50 per cent of eligible recruitment expenses, without surpassing $1,200.

Eligible expenses include the hiring of recruitment professionals such as lawyers or immigration agents recognized by the Ministry of Immigrations, Francization and Integration (MIFI).

The Quebec province called the measure “a targeted response to a need clearly expressed by employers and businesses” and said the extra funding complements a prior pledge of around $20 million for international recruitment effort made in August.

Quebec is facing a looming labour shortages and recent reduction to the number of permanent residents admitted to the province have contributed to an increasing number of employers recruiting temporary foreign workers instead.

It is estimated that about 1,750 Quebec companies could benefit from this financial assistances over the next two years.

“This new measures will improve the services offered to Quebec companies that are in the process of recruiting temporary foreign workers,” Boulet declared in a statement. “In the context of labour shortages, this support comes at the right time.”

Labour Shortages In Quebec

That sentiment was made public by the Quebec Employers Council (QEC), which welcomed the funding announcement.

“Although international hiring is an alternatives for Canadian employers to overcome the challenges of labour shortages, it can be costly and complex,” Yves-Thomas Dorval, Chief Executive Officer and President of the QEC, said in a French press release. “The measure released today, with a budget of $2.1 million, will definately be appreciated by employers.”

“For many small and medium-sized Quebec companies, doing the international recruitment process themselves or participating in a government mission to recruit temporary foreign woerkers abroad is too difficult a task that must necessarily be entrusted to a third party.”

According to Statistics Canada’s Wage Survey and Job Vacancy, the number of vacant jobs stood at 114,215 for Quebec companies in the first quarter of 2019, a surge of 21,365 (+23%) compared to the same quarters in 2018.

Over the previous year, the number of vacant positions has levelled between 114,000 and 120,000 vacancies.

In the first quarter of 2019, Quebec province had the second-highest job vacancy rate among the other Canadian provinces (3.1%), ahead of Ontario (3.0%). British Columbia has the biggest job vacancy rates in Canada, at 4.4 per cent.

Four Quebec jurisdictions have job vacancy growth rates that are among the ten (10) fastest growing in Canada. Quebec’s Mauricie region had the largest growth rates in the number of vacant position in Canada (+89%), followed by the Chaudière-Appalaches, Laval, and Laurentians region.

The region of Montreal had the highest number of vacant positions in Quebec, at 38,515.