Mea­sures aim to im­prove ac­cess to jobs for im­mi­grant pro­fes­sion­als

Montreal Gazette - - CITY -

The Couil­lard govern­ment, 46 Quebec pro­fes­sional or­ders and the prov­ince’s health and ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions vowed Thurs­day to im­prove ac­cess for for­eign­trained im­mi­grants to jobs in their pro­fes­sions.

Fol­low­ing a day­long meet­ing in Quebec City, they agreed to work to­gether through four main mea­sures: set up a one-stop shop for im­mi­grants, who would find all the in­for­ma­tion nec­es­sary for their job search un­der one roof; re­in­force tech­ni­cal French-lan­guage train­ing and aca­demic sup­port; share best prac­tices in eval­u­at­ing ap­pli­ca­tions to pro­fes­sional or­ders; and raise aware­ness among em­ploy­ers of the value of im­mi­grant can­di­dates.

They will also iden­tify “tran­si­tion jobs” that will al­low im­mi­grants to main­tain their com­pe­ten­cies while they wait for a job that meets their full po­ten­tial.

“We can’t af­ford to let th­ese tal­ents go to waste,” Premier Philippe Couil­lard said. “It’s one of the most im­por­tant chal­lenges for Quebec.”

Ac­cord­ing to govern­ment sta­tis­tics, it takes three years for a cer­ti­fied pro­fes­sional to get a li­cence to prac­tise in Quebec, five years if their for­eign train­ing is not al­ready listed as cer­ti­fied.

The Con­seil in­ter­pro­fes­sion­nel du Québec es­ti­mates half of those whose cre­den­tials have been only par­tially rec­og­nized will give up be­fore they are li­censed to prac­tise.

Right now, more than 1,000 for­eign-trained nurses are wait­ing for spots in pro­fes­sional in­te­gra­tion pro­grams, while the health­care sys­tem is in ur­gent need of man­power, said Lu­cie Trem­blay, pres­i­dent of the Or­der of Nurses.

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