Labor shortage: 18,000 immigrant workers are missing in the region

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Labour shortage: 18,000 immigrant workers are missing in the region

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">To reduce the labor shortage, one job vacancy out of five should be filled by an immigrant worker.

The labor shortage in the region is likely to worsen in the coming years due to a lack of foreign workers, according to a study by the Federation Canada for Independent Business (CFIB). Nearly 18,000 immigrants are missing each year to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

No region would be spared by this shortage, but it would affect Montérégie (deficit of 4,845 workers), Laurentides (2,840) and Lanaudière (2,186) more. Estrie is the least affected region, with a foreseeable deficit of 261 workers. If nothing changes, the regions should miss nearly 90,000 immigrant workers in 5 years.

CFIB arrived at these figures based on estimates from Emploi Québec, which estimates that one in five job vacancies must be filled by an immigrant. We then looked at how many immigrants go to the administrative regions, explains the vice-president of Quebec for the CFIB, François Vincent. However, from 2015 to 2019, about 75% of newcomers had decided to stay in the Montreal region.

There will be a shortage of 261 immigrant employees in Estrie by the end of the year.

This amplifies the labor shortage even more. When one job in five must be filled by immigration, and there is a fairly large deficit in the majority of regions, this means that meeting the challenge of the labor shortage; work is even greater, argues François Vincent.

He also recalls that the consequences of the lack of employees are heavy for SMEs. Excess work for employees, postponed projects, refused sales, loss of contracts, the economic dynamism of the region [is affected].

“ It has been estimated that there have been economic losses of $11 billion for the year 2022.”

— François Vincent, Vice-President Quebec for the CFIB

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The director general of Actions interculturelles, Mohamed Soulami, admits that he is not surprised by the results of this study. He even believes that the needs of immigrant workers are higher. It has even become vital for many employers in all fields, he says. Previously it was plastics, rubber, welders, information technology, some specific fields. And we had an unemployment rate that was around 7.8%. There, everything is reversed!

François Vincent asserts that these data demonstrate the need to find strategies to increase regional immigration. We clearly need to increase it by 18,000 per year. We have the figures for the regions. It would be strategic for the government to set quantified objectives, he argues.

He also mentions that the regionalization of immigration has become a priority for business leaders. It's 80% who make it a priority, he insists.

To meet the labor needs of SMEs, Quebec, he argues, must increase the immigration thresholds, reduce the barriers that hinder the settlement of immigrants in the regions and #x27;ensure that these meet the needs of businesses.

“We are talking about paperwork, delays. It's complicated and long. And also the availability of accommodation. Quebec is being asked to stimulate public policies for the creation of housing. »

—François Vincent, Vice-President Quebec for the CFIB

Mohamed Soulami also believes that the government should put more effort into permanent immigration to ensure stability, without putting aside temporary immigration programs.

There is an orientation from the government to encourage more temporary immigration before permanent immigration, adds Mohamed Soulami. This translates into a greater task for employers, who cover the costs. It is more difficult on the one hand for employers, but it also meets certain needs. This is an interesting orientation so that people can come more quickly.

The needs are all the more glaring as the current workforce is Aging: According to CFIB, in most regions, workers aged 20-29 outnumber those aged 55-64.

With information from Marie -Hélène Rousseau

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