The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has emphasized the importance of welcoming more non-skilled workers into Quebec.
CFIB vice president Martine Hébert described Quebec immigration policy of the last 10 years as a “contradiction”.
Hébert says that while the province welcomes mainly university graduates, professionals or executives, the labour market needs low-skilled workers with technical training.
CFIB members, composed of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are concerned about workforce shortage, a problem that hinders their growth. They say is would help if temporary foreign workers had access to permanent residency.
While work permits allow for low-skilled workers to come into the province, they are rarely granted the right to stay permanently, a privilege more often than not reserved for skilled workers.
Since the start of public consultations on immigration in Quebec for the 2017-2019 period, the private sector has been calling for stronger involvement in the selection process.
The recent Quebec government decision to adopt and implement a new Expression of Interest system confirms it is willing to match immigration to labour market needs.
Stakeholders are getting behind a new system tailored to the specific needs of the labour market, which could benefit both immigration candidates and the provincial economy.