For nearly half of the businesses in Quebec, recruitment of skilled workers is the top concern they expect to face in the coming three years, according to a survey conducted by Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. The survey also found that 23 per cent of small and medium enterprises were worried about retaining the staff they already have.
Almost 83 percent of the total 300 businesses that were studied revealed they were investing in employee training in order to make up for the lack of qualified workers. The study also found that the lack of skilled workers was impeding the day-to-day operations of these businesses as well as their long-term growth. Labour market shortage is affecting the growth of businesses in Quebec, particularly those based outside major cities, according to the survey.
Quebec’s skilled worker immigration system
The Skilled Worker Immigration System of Quebec is currently undergoing a transition from the old first-come, first-served system to the new Quebec Expression of Interest. The Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) government of Quebec has promised to reduce immigration targets by 20 per cent in 2019, from 50,000 to 40,000. The provincial officials are of the opinion that Quebec has to improve its services for integration of new immigrants before the number is increased.
The CAQ has also introduced a Bill that proposes cancelling 18000 existing applications for immigration to Quebec. If this Bill is passed to become a law in June 2019, it would affect 40,000 people including dependents and all of them will have to reapply through the new Expression of Interest system.
Thousands have already registered for the Quebec Expression of Interest system. The system is almost similar to the Express Entry system. The profiles registered with the system are awarded scores based on various eligibility factors and the highest scoring candidates are invited to apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) with which they can apply for permanent residence in Canada.
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