Quebec finds qualified workers in Catalonia

Representatives from the Quebec Government have organised sessions to advertise job possibilities in their region. They are mainly looking for workers with technical skills, mainly in the sector of civil engineering, healthcare, and IT. The Catalan Government reached an agreement with Quebec to strengthen the professional mobility of Catalan workers. The participation of Catalan companies in the plans for economic development of the Quebecois Government is also promoted.

CNA / Victor Paradis / Esther Romagosa

March 20, 2012 11:12 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Quebec is looking for qualified workers to fill the possible 730,000 new jobs that might be created in Canada’s Francophone region in the next four years. Quebecois companies are looking for technical profiles in sectors such as healthcare, civil engineering, and new technologies. The Catalan Government signed a cooperation agreement with the Government of Quebec to work for the internationalisation of companies and for job mobility and professional experience of Catalan workers. Within this institutional framework, representatives from Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration have organised five sessions in Barcelona to inform jobseekers about job possibilities in their region. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday they will be informing around 1,000 Catalans about job perspectives in Quebec in some sectors with a high demand for new workers. The selection process will be carried out by the Catalan Public Employment Service (SOC), which will prepare shortlists of candidates for Quebecois companies. The SOC will also mediate with Canadian companies, which should start recruiting in October. Quebec, with some 8 million residents, is looking for foreign workers to fill up future vacancies, as their internal labour market lacks qualified workers in particular sectors. In the next four years 300,000 people will retire and some sectors are growing at a high rate.

Quebec’s Government foresees the creation of 730,000 jobs by 2015 and the arrival of qualified foreign workers will be essential to fill these positions. Therefore, the Francophone region is looking for many qualified workers, particularly for technical profiles in the sectors of civil engineering, construction, aeronautics, healthcare, company administration, IT, and multimedia, among others. Quebec quantified the sectors with a worker demand to be 35. This Canadian region had in December 2011 an unemployment rate of 8.7%, but only a 2% unemployment rate among university graduates.

“Since I finished my university degree I have only been able to undertake internships”

“I’m unemployed since June and facing few job perspectives I’ve decided to look for alternatives”, explained Robert, a graduate in Technical Civil Engineering. He sees the possibility of going to Quebec as “an adventure” and mainly “as an opportunity to expand his CV” and “not to be without a job”, waiting for the crisis to go away and for Europe’ economic recovery. Josep is of the same opinion. He has a degree in Technical Civil Engineering. “Since I finished my university degree I have only been able to undertake internships”, but “I cannot find a job”. Josep would like “to work for four or five years in Quebec if there is work there”. For him, French is not a problem; “I will learn it”, he said.

An agreement between Quebec and Catalonia

The Catalan Minister of Enterprise and Labour, Francesc Xavier Mena, and the Quebec Minister for Immigration and Cultural Communities, Kathleen Weil, subscribed to a common declaration in which they recognised their mutual interest in increasing the institutional collaboration between both governments in both economic and labour fields.  

In parallel, the Catalan Government is enhancing its support for the internationalisation of Catalan companies so that they can participate in Quebec’s plans for economic development, including the Plan Nord, presented recently in Barcelona by the Quebecois Prime Minister, Jean Charest.

Both institutions created a mutual work group focused on international professional mobility to funnel the interest of workers that wish to profit from this experience at an international level, and guide them in their process of formation and integration.