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Job fair opens at Palais des Congrès amid Quebec labour shortage

Click to play video: 'Employers call on Quebec to welcome more immigrants to counter labour shortage'
Employers call on Quebec to welcome more immigrants to counter labour shortage
WATCH: From local depanneurs to some of the largest employers in the world, hundreds of employers are seeking workers at a massive two-day job fair in Montreal. Private businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies are all hoping to attract potential employees. And as Global's Tim Sargeant reports, many believe that capping the number of newly arrived immigrants to Quebec won't help fill vacancies left by the labour shortage – Oct 5, 2022

A two-day job fair is taking place Oct 5, 6 in Montreal’s the Palais des Congrès.

Hundreds of companies, government agencies and education facilities have set up exhibits hoping to attract a large labour pool and fill thousands of positions.

“It’s not a market for the employers –it’s a market for the job seekers,” said Éric Boutié, the president and founder of L’Événement Carrières.

More than 200 exhibits are set up trying to attract potential employees.

“More than 500 (positions), that’s why we’re here. So, we have a lot of job opportunities for people to come,” Geneviève Lapierre, a Bombardier Human Resources employee told Global News.

Read more: Quebec business groups ask Legault for action on labour shortage

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From convenient store chains to the world’s largest companies –many of them are offering multiple positions.

According to Boutié, one of the keys to filling the vacancy is boosting immigration –a controversial political issue that was at the centre of debate during Quebec’s election campaign.

“84 per cent of the exhibitors say we would like to have more new immigrants to fill our positions,” Boutié said.

Narimane Ezerroukene moved to Quebec from Algeria less than three weeks ago. She’s hoping the job fair will be the ticket she needs to start earning a paycheque. “Yeah, and get a job of course,” Ezerroukene added.

READ MORE: Quebec business groups ask Legault for action on labour shortage

Jobs in dozens of industries are available in Quebec.

The labour shortage has lasted more than one year but not everyone is finding new work.

Colleen Ridley lost her job working with senior citizens during the pandemic. She’s still looking to regain employment.

“I’ve been doing it for the last two years, to try and find a job and unfortunately, I can’t find one,” Ridley said.

Others say they’ve come prepared.

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“I have my resumé, my pad and pen, so I’m ready to go,” Robert Ronald said, as he checks out the different employer kiosks.

Some are hoping to come away with more than one offer.

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