A fresh start, new challenges



Québec is struggling to find labour. The government counts, in part, on immigration to meet its labour needs. However, immigrants encounter more problems integrating into the labour market in Québec than in the rest of Canada. In 2009, the unemployment rate of immigrants to the province was 13.7%, compared to 7.6% for native-born workers. Among immigrants who arrived in Canada within the past five years, the unemployment rate exceeds 22%. And yet, little research has been done into finding solutions for this problem.

Among immigrants who arrived in Canada within the past five years, the unemployment rate exceeds 22%.

Brahim Boudarbat, research professor with the School of Industrial Relations at Université de Montréal, examined the factors that impede the integration of immigrant workers, while taking a look at wage gaps between immigrants and "natives". To do this, he used a new approach that studies wage distributions rather than average wages. In addition to being the subject of many media reports since 2010, his observations have led to several recommendations, some of which have been incorporated into public policy.

They have also inspired new immigration policies that prioritize young candidates and those having acquired a degree or professional experience here, and policies aimed at helping immigrants to obtain their first work experience in Québec. His work has also led to several publications in journals such as Revue de l'intégration et de la migration internationale and Nos diverses cités.

But, by the researcher's own admission, his greatest accomplishment has been contributing to the emergence of a renowned expert in the field, the young researcher Maude Boulet. Since completing her PhD under the tutelage of Brahim Boudarbat, Dr. Boulet has been devoting her time to the study of these issues.