Quebec is looking for skilled workers to alleviate record job vacancies in the province.
According to a study by the Institute du Quebec, the pandemic transformed the provincial labour market, with public health measures further exacerbating previous workforce shortages.
Quebec’s provincial government and the Canadian federal government have put forth a number of measures, such as increasing immigration to support skilled migrants to move to Quebec and fill job vacancies.
The report by the Institute du Quebec tries to determine the current state of Quebec’s labour market by posing critical questions.
Mia Homsy, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute du Quebec, said the province started 2022 with the lowest unemployment rate in years and record job vacancies.
She also said a lack of available skilled workers and a decrease in the number of workforce participants aged 55 and above could lead to the labour market gap rising further.
Measures introduced by the Quebec government for temporary foreign workers include allowing certain provincial workplaces to double their staff to 20 per cent skilled migrants from the previous allowance of 10 per cent.
Employers in industries such as retail as well as accommodation and food services can benefit from this increase, as these industries rely on skilled migrants to support their businesses.
Canada will also make the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) more flexible by including occupations listed under its National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level C in the Traitement Simplifié (facilitated processing).
This will help provincial employers by making it more flexible for them to hire skilled migrants through the TFWP.
These measures implemented by the provincial and federal governments are designed to help the provincial labour market gaps, and the Institute du Quebec’s report justifies these measures as it finds that skilled migrants have high instances of employment in Quebec’s workforce.
Quebec is set to admit more than 52,000 new permanent residents in 2022, as outlined in the Quebec Immigration Levels Plan that was released in October of last year.
Most of the newcomers will arrive through economic immigration programs such as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) and the Quebec Experience Program (QEP).
In addition, the Immigration Levels Plan also calls for 18,000 more admissions to cover for the lack of skilled migrants arriving in 2020 due to pandemic-enforced border closures and travel restrictions.
As such, more than 72,000 new permanent residents could potentially arrive in Quebec this year, which will significantly aid the provincial workforce gap.