A Strategy to Promote the Employability of English-Speaking Quebecers


Montreal, December 7, 2021. – Along with government and community partners, the Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) organized a panel discussion in Montreal on December 3rd, featuring key initiatives which support English-speaking communities in the employment sector. 

The various initiatives presented at the event were supported through a funding envelope managed by the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise to develop a strategy to reduce the employability deficit currently experienced by English-speaking Quebecers.

The minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Mr. Jean Boulet and the parliamentary assistant to the Premier for Relations with English-Speaking Quebecers, Mr. Christopher Skeete,  represented the Government of Québec at this event, which featured 35 participants at the session in Montréal and over 100 other participants online.

The panel also brought together the two other organizations actively involved in the implementation of this strategy, the Regional Development Network (RDN) and Bishop’s University, which coordinates the Consortium of English-Speaking CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities of Quebec (Consortium). This event follows on the heels of the government’s funding of $1.4 million per year over five years (2020-2025) to these three organizations, for a total of $7 million.

As part of the employability strategy, four projects will be supported:

  • French Second Language Skills Development in the Workplace (PERT);
  • Support in the pursuit of a career in the public service (Consortium); and
  • Better access to employment services (RDN);
  • Creation of social economy support services (RDN).

According to the last census in 2016, the unemployment rate for AEQs was 9%, compared to 7% for Francophone Quebecers. This disparity was accentuated in some rural and more disadvantaged areas, with rates up to three times that of their Francophone neighbours. In addition, the tendency to live below the low-income cut-off is much higher for English-speaking Quebecers (18%) than for French-speaking Quebecers (12%), regardless of region.

In order to foster Quebec’s development, it is important to capitalize on the talent of all Quebecers, including English-speaking Quebecers, who represent an attractive labour pool. This strategy will not only ensure that QEAs remain in Quebec as much as possible, but also that they contribute fully to the economic life of Quebec.


“Despite the current context of widespread labour shortages, recent studies show that English-speaking communities in Quebec have higher unemployment rates and often lower incomes than the provincial average. As we plan for the post-pandemic economic recovery, I am confident that the deployment of this employability strategy will allow thousands of English-speaking Quebecers to participate more fully in the growth of the Quebec economy, whether by developing their ability to speak and write French, or by having better access to various resources to enter the job market.”

Christopher Skeete, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers

“To meet the challenges of labour scarcity, Quebec must be able to rely on training and retention of all its talent to support innovation and creativity. The employability strategy unveiled today is an opportunity to build a promising and inclusive future for English-speaking Quebecers. An Advisory Committee for English-speaking Quebecers was recognized by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail earlier this year and will support the objectives of the strategy. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the organizations actively involved in the implementation of this strategy, which will contribute to the development of a strong and dynamic economy.”

Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, Minister Responsible for the Mauricie Region

“French language training continues to be one of the greatest barriers to employment and advancement of English-speaking Quebecers in the labour market. With the support of the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise, the Provincial Round Table on Employment has undertaken research on how best to improve the availability and quality of French second language training programs for the workforce of English-speaking communities in Quebec.”

Nicholas Salter, Executive Director of the Provincial Employment Roundtable

“ As we focus on an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of a growing labour shortage, Quebec’s future success depends on innovation, imagination, collaboration and leadership. The nine post-secondary institutions in the Consortium are committed to continuing to contribute to Quebec’s future as they have for a long time, by forging inter-institutional partnerships that empower their graduates and create pathways to rewarding career opportunities here in Quebec. ”

Celine Cooper, Managing Director of the Consortium of English-language CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities of Quebec

“ Through the Employability Strategy, funded by the Secrétariat aux relations avec les Québécois d’expression anglaise, the Regional Development Network is supporting eleven English-language community organizations in their efforts to address the challenges faced by English-speaking job seekers in Quebec. ”

Brigitte Wellens, President of the Regional Developement Network

About the partner organizations

The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) is a non-profit multi-stakeholder initiative focused on addressing the employment and employability challenges facing Québec’s English-speaking community. For more information abou the Provincial Employment Roundtable : https://pertquebec.ca/fr/ 

The mission of the Consortium of English-Speaking CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities of Quebec is to leverage their resources to support the retention, employment and success of English-speaking CEGEP, college and university graduates in Quebec. For more information on the Consortium of English-Speaking CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities in Quebec  : http://consortiumquebec.ca/fr/ 

The Regional Development Network is a network of regional groups working collaboratively for the socio-economic development of English-speaking communities in Quebec. For more information on the Regional Development Network : https://regdevnet.ca/fr/acceuil-2/ 


Chad Walcott
Director of Engagement & Communications
Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)
(514) 718-7990