Montréal, February 3, 2015 – As part of the public consultations on a new Québec policy on immigration, diversity and inclusion, Montréal International (MI) recommends that the Québec government align its economic immigration policy with job market needs by focusing on specialized temporary workers and international students. MI’s recommendations are meant mostly to expand the pool of potential candidates eligible for the Programme d’expérience québécoise (PEQ – Québec experience program), which speeds up the process of obtaining a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec selection certificate), in order to triple the number of finalized files every year by 2018.
“Québec needs to overcome the challenges of an aging population and labour scarcity. Its economic growth depends on it,” stated Dominique Anglade, President and CEO of Montréal International. “The availability of skilled and experienced workers is a key factor in attracting foreign investments, as are market access and competitive operating costs. However, an increasing number of companies in Greater Montréal are having a tough time filling key positions and need to recruit abroad, so they take part in the Journées Québec international recruitment missions to find that rare gem,” added Anglade.
According to MI, immigration is a key driver of prosperity in Québec. “Specialized temporary workers satisfy the immediate needs of Greater Montréal employers and are the ideal candidates for permanent immigration. International students also make up a significant population that has a high potential to integrate into Québec society. It is therefore essential to provide greater support to such individuals throughout the immigration process and facilitate their admission to Québec,” said Anglade.
MI has highlighted two priorities in its recommendations:
- Attracting and admitting specialized temporary workers
Facilitate the admission of specialized temporary workers to satisfy pressing job market needs and help Québec companies in the high tech sectors recruit abroad.
- Retaining specialized temporary workers and international students
Review some PEQ criteria and the selection grid for issuing Québec selection certificates, raise more awareness among international students about the benefits and the process of obtaining permanent residence, and fast-track the federal portion of the permanent resident application process.
Implementing these recommendations would allow more candidates to be eligible for the PEQ and triple the number of finalized files from 5,000 in 2014 to 15,000 in 2018.
There were some 54,000 specialized temporary workers and international students in Québec in 2013—with over three quarters in Greater Montréal. According to a survey conducted by Montréal International, in conjunction with Conseil emploi métropole, 58% of specialized temporary workers and 51% of international students would like to stay in Greater Montréal after their temporary status expires.
Created in 1996, Montréal International is the result of a private-public partnership. Its mission is to act as an economic driver for Greater Montréal to attract foreign wealth while accelerating the success of its partners and clients. Its mandates include attracting foreign direct investments, international organizations and international strategic workers as well as promoting the competitive and international environment of Greater Montréal. Montréal International, a non-profit organization, is funded by the private sector, the governments of Canada and Québec, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (Montréal Metropolitan Community) and the City of Montréal.