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Quebec removes hurdles for employers looking to hire foreign workers amid labour shortage

There are now 226 professions on the new list, including preschool and grade school teachers, university-level lecturers, social workers, cinema support staff and bricklayers, to name a few.
There are now 226 professions on the new list, including preschool and grade school teachers, university-level lecturers, social workers, cinema support staff and bricklayers, to name a few. Jean-Vincent Verville/Global News

The Quebec government has released an updated and “improved” list of admissible jobs for its temporary foreign worker program (PTET).

There are now 226 professions on the new list, including preschool and grade school teachers, university-level lecturers, social workers, cinema support staff and bricklayers, to name a few.

The government said Monday the move was necessary to better meet the needs of Quebec employers.

It will allow employers to fast track their search for employees by exempting them from some administrative procedures.

READ MORE: Quebec business federation says province needs more immigrants to meet job needs

For example, employers will no longer have to present proof that domestic recruitment efforts lasted at least four weeks before looking for international recruits.

Likewise, the occupations on the list all benefit from the advantages reserved for employers offering posts considered to be of high salary. That means employers will be able to offer jobs to foreign workers for a period lasting more than 12 months and won’t be limited as to the number of workers who can be recruited internationally.

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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), a non-profit organization with over 110,000 members advocating for small and medium-sized businesses, welcomed the news.

READ MORE: Labour minister hopes to attract more anglophones to Quebec’s workforce to address labour shortage

According to the CFIB, three out of four employers say they face hiring difficulties with repercussions to their bottom line.

“For half of them, it results in the cancellation or refusal of contracts or sales,” the CFIB said.

The CFIB explained that employers usually only look to foreign workers as a last resort, but when they do, time is of the essence.

In a news release on Monday, the CFIB said that removing administrative hurdles will help save time and improve the situation for businesses dealing with acute labour shortages.

READ MORE: Quebec to help businesses recruit temporary foreign workers amid labour shortage

The CFIB said while the updated list is a step in the right direction, labour shortages are a growing concern for many businesses.

It said it will be taking part in government consultations, announced mid-february, on reforms to the Quebec Experience Program, known as PEQ, to defend the interests of small- and medium-sized businesses in the province.

PEQ is a fast-track immigration program for students and skilled workers to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate, which is the first step towards the goal of becoming a permanent resident.

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In November, Immigration Minister Simon-Jolin Barrette had to backtrack on certain modifications to the popular program following public backlash.

READ MORE: ‘We have to be human with people’: Quebec backtracks on changes to popular immigration program