Getting foreign students, temporary workers to stay in Quebec is key to new 5-year plan
In a news conference today, Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil outlined a new policy aimed at attracting strategic talent to the province.
Weil said this new plan, called Together, We Are Quebec, will take into account changing labour trends and streamline the immigration process.
Another key aim of the plan is to retain immigrants who are here on temporary visas as students or temporary workers.
Weil said Quebec must do better to not lose top talent to other countries.
"People have a lot of choices right now," Weil said. "Many European countries and the U.S. are interesting [places] to potential immigrants and we want to do as well, or better, than our competitors."
Competition for highly-trained immigrants
Individuals trained in job sectors that are in high-demand will be targeted for immigration first.
When asked about what can be done for highly-trained workers like doctors and engineers to get their qualification recognized, Weil said the government and employers will have to step up.
"It's our objective to do much better.[…] We seek to have their qualification partially or fully recognized before they get here. We need to solve these problems. We have to mobilize all the players."
Learning French is seen as integral to having the program work.
"We need to be more flexible to open more French courses. We are going to offer it to foreign students and temporary workers. […] It's the first sense of insecurity new immigrants have."
Weil stressed the importance of retaining foreign students.
"Everyone is after them. We are the second largest university city in North America. These people are well-integrated, they have a degree, they bring incredible diversity."
Temporary workers are also seen as being well-integrated and valuable to Quebec.
Weil said retention of foreign workers is going well at about 20 to 30 per cent. But that this number still lags far behind places like New Zealand where retention is close to 90 per cent.
In Quebec's 2015-2016 economic plan, the province earmarked $42.5 million over five years to help immigrants and ethnocultural minorities contribute more to Quebec's development.
The new policy is accompanied by a five-year action strategy from 2016-2021.
CBC News | Posted: Mar 07, 2016 1:50 PM ET | Last Updated: Mar 07, 2016 3:54 PM ET
What does this mean to Filipinos?
The new updated policy claims that it will speed up processing times for applicants especially to priority skilled immigrants.
The Ministry of Immigration in Quebec has recognize that its policies has been 25 years out of date hence the desperately needed change.
The shift in its policies will highlight job skills and professions; matching to those lacking in the province. Interested applicants are required to sign a Declaration of Interest.
"It asks people to give a brief summary of their profile; we look at it; matching it to the professions and skills that we need [in Quebec]", says Weil.
Nothing revolutionary there. Just faster processing times. However, it fails to address the problems many immigrants face today once they reach Quebec---credentialing and competency recognition.
Without recognition, we cannot match jobs to the skills of our highly trained professionals. Only about 20-30% of immigrants continue to work in their respective fields. The rest work in deskilled jobs. Local employers has recognize this problem and are pushing for further reforms.
P.S. French is still required in most jobs.
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