Measures aim to improve access to jobs for immigrant professionals
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.