Faced with a scarcity of labour, Québec employers consider turning to immigrant workers.
However, recent statistics point to another reality, as the unemployment rate for landed immigrants of less than 5 years is 15.8 % and that for all landed immigrants is 8.7%, compared with an unemployment rate of 4.5 % for Canadian-born Quebecers.
36,9 % of the employers located outside the Montréal Metropolitan Area showed an interest in hiring recent immigrants.
In this context, the issue of the willingness and ability of Québec employers to attract and retain recent immigrant workers arises. A survey of more than 2,300 employers located outside the Montréal Metropolitan Area revealed that 36.9% of them showed an interest in hiring recent immigrants.
On the other hand, only 23.8% of the employers surveyed had actually hired any recent immigrants in the last five years. They indicated their willingness to implement certain measures to retain immigrant workers, with 82% of them reporting their experience with immigrant workers as satisfactory. Examples of retention practices used include recognizing foreign diplomas, helping the workers to learn French and designating a mentor to facilitate the integration of new arrivals.
The employers explained that their ability to attract and retain recent immigrant workers is largely dependent on the integration of all members of their family (spouse and children) into the community. This requires initiatives beyond the boundaries of the organization, and employers have limited resources to facilitate this broader integration. Cooperation between employers and the different local and government agencies dedicated to socioeconomic development is a necessary step. Without their support, employers outside the Greater Montréal Area have little chance of improving their ability to attract and retain recent immigrant workers.
Catherine Beaudry, Université du Québec à Rimouski
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Deposit of the research report: Janaury 2019