Improving Employment for Quebec’s English Community

MONTREAL, QC (November 29 th , 2019) – The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT), a multi-
stakeholder initiative seeking to improve employability and employment opportunities for Quebecers
managed by YES (Youth Employment Services), is preparing a list of concrete policy recommendations to
be presented to the Quebec government after holding a community consultation, Closing the 12k Gap:
Improving Employment for Quebec’s English Community, on November 22 nd , 2019 in Montréal.

The consultation brought together 96 participants from community, education, government, business,
and provincial organizations to discuss and provide solutions concerning issues of unemployment and
under-employment affecting English-speakers throughout Québec. Initial recommendations to improve
employment prospects for the English-speaking community include:

  • Make French language training accessible throughout the province, and ensure that English-
    speakers can access it for free no matter the stage of their employment.
  • Formally recognize the English-speaking community as having specific barriers to employment, and
    tailor government responses to take into account their unique situation.
  • Increase flexibility of programs and ensure that they are sustainable. This includes creating
    programs which are able to scale over time.
  • Increase collaboration between different groups who offer complimentary service.
  • Decrease competition between groups who offer similar services.
  • Bridge the gap between education and entering into the workforce by working with community
  • Increase internship and on-the-job training programs for integration.
  • Increase collaboration between the community sector and the private sector through formal
    partnership and employment programs.
  • Increase capacity of community groups so that they can provide services, update their existing
    services, or work with other actors to provide their community members service.

The recommendations will be formally presented to the Provincial Government with an accompanying
report in early 2020. The recommendations are timely, with the Honourable Jean Boulet, Minister du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and Minister of la Mauricie region, announcing the creation of la Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (CPMT), which will analyze the employment needs of the English-speaking community in Québec at the conference.

« Les Québécois d'expression anglaise ont de profondes racines au Québec. Ils en ont influencé le développement et ils contribuent à l'édification du Québec moderne et à l’affirmation de son identité. Leur intégration au marché du travail et leur maintien en emploi est une de nos préoccupations. Les travaux que mènera la Commission pour étudier la mise en place du comité consultatif font partie de mes priorités parce que le Québec doit pouvoir profiter de tous ses talents. » – Jean Boulet, ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale et ministre responsable de la région de la Mauricie

There have been persistent challenges for the English-speaking community over the years which have contributed to a growing employment and economic disparity between the French and English communities. 7 of the 17 administrative regions do not have employment services marketed towards English-speakers. Furthermore, in some regions there are only 1-2 service providers for the entire
region, making it difficult for English-speakers to access services in their language. With estimations at less than 1%, English-speaking representation within the Quebec public service remains low. When it comes to economic disparity, English-speakers are more likely to fall under a low-income classification than their French counterparts, and when employed, they have a lower median salary (Census 2016).

“We’re very excited to be opening new doors with the government of Québec and all other decision makers toward the cause of removing barriers for English-speaking job seekers. 54 organizations came together at the Consultation to map out a new strategy for improving employment prospects for the English-speaking community so that we can contribute fully to Québec’s economy” said Aki Tchitacov,
Executive Director of YES.

About YES:
As a not-for-profit organization, YES enriches the community by providing English-language support
services to help Quebecers find employment, and start and grow businesses.
We help people start successful careers – for themselves, and for our community.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Kathy Slotsve
Director of Communications &
Stakeholder Engagement
514-878-9788 ext. 337
[email protected]

Aki Tchitacov
Executive Director
514-878-9788 ext. 301
[email protected]