Not everyone is happy about the new immigration laws that place skills over language laws. While a working command of French is important for anyone moving to Quebec, but business owners in the hospitality industry are only some of the business owners who are desperate for skilled labour.

“It has to be weighed against other criteria, like of course, the ability to find a job,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Montreal Board of Trade.

Minister Kathleen Weil stated that Quebec’s immigration reform Bill 77, needs to address unemployment among landed immigrants. She states that it’s almost double in Montreal compared to Toronto and Vancouver.

Skilled Worker applicants who wish to live in Montreal or within the province of Quebec are assessed under a different system than applicants who wish to settle elsewhere in Canada. This has always reduced the likelihood of workers locating in Quebec City, as apposed to Toronto, Calgary, or Vancouver.

Skilled Workers or international graduates in Quebec may apply to immigrate to Quebec under what the ‘Regular Skilled Worker Program’, also known as the Quebec Experience Program — PEQ.

The shortage of labour in Quebec affects many sectors, some professions are suffering an acute shortage, according to a report issued by the provincial government. This shortage is expected to last until 2021.

Montreal is suffering a shortage of tour guides, as well as nurses, journalists, and hospitality workers. T one time the shortage was limited to highly skilled workers and high-tech sectors. Now the main industries hit are hospitality and construction. All levels of the hospitality industry have been hit, from floor staff to managers and general managers.

In 2019 the unemployment rate in Quebec remained at 5%. This is better than 2018, but not enough to help businesses thrive among employee shortages, and business close downs. The most recent major impact on the industry was when Kentucky Fried Chicken closed five outlets in Quebec City and the region late 2019.

In the first seven months of 2019, employment in Québec increased by 59,700 (+1.4%) compared with the same period in 2018. Over that period, full-time work rose by 38,100, while part-time work grew by 21,600. Since the start of 2019, the unemployment rate in Québec has averaged 5.1%.

The Association Restauration Québec quoted data indicating there are 6,485 vacant jobs for cooks, waiters and kitchen staff across Quebec late 2019. The association Represents 5,550 restaurant owners, the association claims that their situation is critical. Statistics Canada data states that there were 14,000 vacant jobs for cooks, waiters and kitchen staff across Quebec, in 2018.

The forecast is the number of unfilled jobs will continue to grow to reach 10,000 by 2025.

The opportunity for restaurant managers and general managers to step into jobs in Quebec has never been better.

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