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New solutions to meet the challenges of workforce shortages

D19 – To face workforce shortages, which is Quebec’s main economic challenge for the foreseeable future, the leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, Philippe Couillard, has a plan that can be summed up in four words: education, participation, automation, immigration.

Thus, the Liberal government wants to continue to make education its main priority and further adapt training to the regions’ different needs. It also wants to ensure that the labour market’s driving forces participate, such as experienced workers, aboriginal communities, as well as people living with a handicap. It will also continue to support automation by investing in artificial intelligence, innovative manufacturing and digitization.

It is also obviously inevitable that we rely on workers from abroad who are well integrated and speak French. To do so, today we are committing to provide municipalities with better tools for them to identify their workforce needs and make it easier for workers from abroad to integrate local labour markets.

Thus, in a second mandate, a QLP government is committed to:

  • Providing municipalités régionales de comté (MRCs) and municipalities who exercise those powers, with new financial assistance of $10M over 5 years in order to establish, on a triennial basis and in partnership with Emploi-Québec and the Conseils régionaux des partenaires du marché du travail, a local portrait of workforce needs, in particular those that could be filled by workers from abroad. This portrait of labour market needs will facilitate the planning for economic immigration, the selection of future Quebecers, as well as their successful integration into Quebec society.
  • Providing the MRC with $15M annually to encourage the integration and retention of workers in our regions who have come from abroad. This sum will be used to locally support socio-economic stakeholders like community organizations whose mandate will be to work in partnership, among others, with businesses to make it easier to welcome workers from abroad.
  • Investing an additional $10M each year to enhance the workplace francization services offered by the school boards and organizations who work in the francization sector.

These measures represent additional investments of 135 million dollars over five years, and are in addition to the investments foreseen within National Workforce Strategy.

Finally, the measures announced today are in addition the commitments that we made to encourage experienced workers to remain on, or return to, the workforce, namely: the increase in tax credits for experienced workers and the possibility of suspending or postponing pensions up to age 75.

Recall that within the next 10 years, Quebec’s workforce will need to fill more than 1.3 million jobs. If more than half of them are filled by young people entering the job market, then close to 1 out of every 5 positions will need to be filled by a worker from abroad.

I support this commitment

I support this commitment

Every region of Quebec, from the Îles-de-la-Madeleine to Gatineau and by way of Quebec City, needs workers. When I meet entrepreneurs, their primary concern is having to turn down or cancel a contract because they do not have enough manpower to do the job. Unlike others, we acknowledge this issue and we will never back down from the challenge. We started the work and we intend to do even more in our second mandate. Having faith in our regions also means supporting them so that they can identify their workforce needs and providing them with the tools they require to make it easier to integrate workers from abroad, and their families, into their community.


Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec and leader of the Quebec Liberal Party