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Labour shortage hitting Quebec’s I.T. sector hard

Robotics Conference. Tim Sargeant/Global News/FILE

Quebec’s high tech sector is suffering from a severe labour shortage and there isn’t a large pool of potential employees to draw upon.

The coronavirus pandemic forced a lot of employees to work from home and during the time, many saved money and shopped online, creating a spike in the consumer supply chain.

This helped fuel more innovation in the automation industry and major high tech employers started posting new vacancies but struggled to fill the positions.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Summer could be the start of economic rebound for Montreal

“There is a labour shortage in many sectors, but more acutely, more particularly in the information technology areas,” Jean Boulet, Quebec’s Labour Minister, said during a press conference.

The minister is setting up cash incentives to encourage those out of work to find jobs in the high tech business, including offering $650 a week in financial assistance during a three-year period.

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“Automation has become extremely important to increase the productivity levels of Quebec companies,” Boulet said.

Boulet says there are ten thousand I.T. vacancies across the province. In Montreal alone, hundreds of positions are listed in the careers sections of some of the world’s largest high tech companies.

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But the labour shortage isn’t just hurting high tech companies.

Montreal’s restaurant business is struggling to hire workers and it comes just as outdoor patios and terraces are set to open on May 28.

“It is possible that the owner will work more hours than normal because they will have to fill the position,” François Vincent, the Quebec V.P. of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, told Global News.

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