Successfully integrating foreign talent:
a requirement for our prosperity
Montreal, March 31, 2008 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is delighted by the measures announced by the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Yolande James, which aim to allow immigrants to be more rapidly integrated into our workforce.
For the Board of Trade, the quick and efficient integration of new arrivals on the job market has revealed itself, over the course of several years, to be a priority for increasing competitiveness, productivity, and innovation throughout Quebec. In light of the fact that there are 680,000 jobs to be filled in Québec in the 2006-2010 period, that close to 50% of these jobs are in the greater Montreal region, that the unemployment rate among immigrants is, unfortunately, still greater than in the non-immigrant population, and that Québec will have to deal with a great number of retiring workers, it is essential that we sort out our integration strategy. I therefore welcome the resolve expressed today by the Minister to offer immigrants concrete and pertinent means to facilitate their access to the job market, stated the President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Isabelle Hudon.
In addition to measures intended for new arrivals, those that aim to mobilize businesses are also very appropriate. Notably, they respond to a need to increasingly raise awareness among employers of the importance of integrating foreign talent into their workforce, thereby benefiting innovation and the growth of their companies.
We must always keep in mind the fact that, within a few years, the net growth of our workforce will rely entirely on immigration. In view of this, we must act collectively to promote integration and to develop strategies throughout Québec, especially in the area where the challenge of immigration is a great concern: Montréal. Indeed, since 80% of immigrants choose to settle in the Montréal region, it was absolutely essential that the government place a particular emphasis on the city, added Isabelle Hudon.
The Board of Trade is also very pleased to see that after several years of representation to increase awareness of the importance of keeping foreign students our talent in the making in the province, the government of Québec has identified this clientele as a target to be prioritized. It is now up to the business community to find ways of maximizing this potential for our common success, said Isabelle Hudon.
Finally, the Board of Trade would like to convey the fact that the organization plays and will continue to play an active role in the integration of immigrants in our economy and that, in this respect, the Québec government can always count on its collaboration. We are very proud to have carried out a number of projects in this respect and of continuing our partnership with the Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles by offering activities whose goal is to more quickly integrate new arrivals into the job market such as our World on our Doorstep programme, for example , while increasing companies' awareness of the value of employment diversity, concluded Isabelle Hudon.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of the Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015