Scarcity of labour: operation “unprecedented,” the ministry of Labour

Rareté de main-d'oeuvre: opération «sans précédent» au ministère du Travail

MONTREAL — It is a whole culture change that will take place, commencing on Monday, the ministry of Labour of Quebec. Scarcity of labor forces, 200 counsellors from the ministry will be working to solve the recruitment problems of companies. And they call these companies one at a time, if necessary, to give a personalized service.

“There has been a paradigm shift. Before, we were used to receive people who were looking for jobs. Now, we are going to go to companies that are in search, in search of employees,” summed up Thursday the minister of Labour, Employment and social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, at a conference to present his plan.

The minister speaks of an “unprecedented transaction,” a “big chore” to change ways of doing the ministry, because of the scarcity of labor in some sectors.

The ministry even, the realignment will impact 200 advisors, who will be supported by 70 technicians, who will be at the service of employers in search of orderlies, labourers, cooks, employees in slaughterhouses and other.

In addition to the department, the “big chore” will also receive the support of workers, integration of persons with disabilities, aboriginal people, immigrants, the offering of suitable training programmes, has promised the minister Boulet.

And it will also include aspects such as the automation of certain tasks, the robots. And the minister has not excluded that tax credits be made to this provision, if need be.


The action plan against the scarcity of labour has been rather well received.

“What are we going to offer to SMES, it is the accompaniment and, often, it is this that is sorely lacking” because they do not have a human resources department, has shown Martine Hébert, senior vice-president of the canadian Federation of independent business.

But it will take more than the middle and long terms. “There is no miracle cure to the shortage of manpower. It is necessary to focus on the short term also. It is absolutely necessary to bring in more temporary foreign workers to allow companies to meet their current needs, with the expectation that they will be able to find solutions to the medium and long terms,” added Ms. Hébert.

Yves-Thomas Dorval, the Quebec employers Council, abounds in the same direction. “This is a step in the action and it is very good. It was nice to have a toolbox with programs, but if it is not possible to support employers in their needs, we will remain under the angle of the paper and not the action.”

He concedes that it will also need to have good working conditions to retain employees.


The president of the Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD), Luc Vachon, indicates that it will be necessary to develop the culture of continuous training” in Quebec for the workers to follow the evolution of the technology.

He admits that the robotics and automation will lead to job losses in some sectors. With technological change, “inevitably there will be positions to abolish”.

“Our luck in the bad luck, it is that the demographic context is that it should minimize the impacts of the job losses, but it’s going to transform jobs. Our challenge, then, is how we are going to take labor and make it fit for the jobs of tomorrow,” was illustrated by Mr. Vachon.

Share Button