Training fields

Quebec will pay thousands of students in certain fields per year due to a labor shortage

MONTREAL – While Quebec is grappling with a labor shortage in several industries, the Legault government will pay students who embark on “targeted professions” in health, engineering and information technology , starting in the fall of 2022.

These incentive scholarships will be awarded after each successful full-time session, the Quebec finance minister unveiled on Thursday.

In CEGEP, an eligible student will receive $ 1,500 per session for a total of $ 9,000 for a three-year program.

University students will receive $ 2,500 per session, for a total of $ 15,000 for a three-year program and $ 20,000 for a four-year program.

The ministry predicts the measure will cost the public treasury $ 1.7 billion by 2026 – the largest expenditure in the five-year $ 2.9 billion program developed to alleviate the province’s labor shortage .

With the new plan, Quebec hopes to “train, re-qualify and attract” nearly 170,000 workers in specific fields over the next five years. These areas are: health and social services, education, educational childcare, engineering and information technology and construction.

The incentives come as the province suffers from a staff shortage caused by an aging population and declining immigration.

There are nearly 279,000 vacant positions in Quebec, according to Statistics Canada.

The government will also provide bonuses to encourage the return of retired professionals, including nurses and educators in service – a measure expected to cost $ 60.3 million over two years.

For a worker earning a salary of $ 40,000, the wage premium would provide a bonus of $ 2,640 to $ 3,156 per year.


People in other industries felt left out by Thursday’s announcement.

“Unfortunately, the manufacturing sector was not included,” lamented Véronique Proulx, general manager of Manufacturiers et Exportateurs Québec (MEQ), who said she was “disappointed”.

Proulx says the incentives could even drive workers away from manufacturing industries.

“The construction industry will be looking for employees in our industry,” she said. “I have members who call me to tell me that they are losing employees.

“We cannot do everything,” said Quebec Finance Minister Éric Girard, who explained that the government was prioritizing industries deemed essential.

“As a government it is important to make choices.”

This article from La Presse Canadienne was first published in French on November 25, 2021

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