Immigration is key for business: EY
(Montréal – 11 March, 2011) Québec businesses are in serious need of qualified workers. Competition for talent, both internationally and at home, is fierce. Québec needs to rise to the challenge to attract, integrate and retain immigrant talent and temporary employees to meet its long-term labour needs, according to EY.
“According to Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities forecasts, by 2018 the Québec labour market will need over 1.3 million people to fill the gap left by retirement, or just to fill new positions created by economic growth,” explains Danielle Laramée, Partner and Leader of Human Capital for EY in Montréal. “With Québec‘s considerable demographic challenges, an increasing number of businesses will have no choice but to turn to immigration to meet their needs.”
At a roundtable held by EY and attended by Immigration and Cultural Communities Minister Kathleen Weil, representatives of a number of large companies agreed that to ensure Québec’s continued growth and success, immigration policies must not only facilitate access to a pool of talent, but must also support efforts to retain immigrants and foreign workers. In spite of the unanimous recognition of the importance of professional integration, temporary workers currently employed in organizations are often required to leave due to work permit expiry.
“The government’s role is crucial, not only in facilitating the integration of immigrants, but particularly in allowing foreign workers and students to remain in the province and work,” says Philippe Rousseau, a lawyer with Egan LLP, a business immigration law firm allied with EY. Programs rolled out by the Ministry should provide the business community with assurance that their needs have been understood, that initiatives will better match immigrant selection to Québec’s specific needs, and that programs are in place to retain talent already in the province.”
International labour mobility has reached significant proportions in recent years, and will continue to mount. According to the International Organization for Migration, 240 million people — approximately 3% of the world’s population — currently work outside their native country.
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