Limited amount of workplace French-language training programs for English speakers further exacerbates Québec’s labour market shortage


Montreal, April  12th, 2022 – The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) has just released an inventory report which examines the availability of French-language workforce programs (FLWPs) in Québec. PERT’s report highlights the difficulties English-speaking Quebecers experience when trying to access FLWPs in order to enter, re-join or advance in the labour market. 

PERT’s report points to issues related to program availability, accessibility and regional disparities as limiting opportunities for Québec’s English speakers to gain a level of French proficiency that would help them succeed in the labour market.

There is an interest amongst Québec’s English-speakers in the workforce to learn and improve their French, however, the available resources are scarce and largely inaccessible. This is an even bigger problem given the labour market shortage Québec is experiencing,” said Nicholas Salter, Executive Director of PERT.

When it comes to information regarding FLWPs offered to employers, the report indicates these programs are even harder to find than what is available to the general public.

“It’s hard to even know where to start to find the information on these programs. The resources aren’t pushed to us in any way. I’m sure the government provides all kinds of tools to businesses, but if we don’t know where to find them it’s hard to actually use them,” says Noah Sidel, a Montreal-based small business executive and a member of PERT’s Employer Sectoral Table.

The report also points out that while the Québec government has made some progress in providing more French-language workforce programs to immigrants and newcomers, many non-immigrant English speakers find themselves ineligible for government-subsidised language training.

“The misconception that only immigrants need French-language training is not only false, it is also a barrier to developing and providing programs for the full range of language learners in Québec. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure English-speakers are given the tools to fully contribute to Québec’s economy,” said Mr. Salter.

The Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT) proposes 12 recommendations intended to address these shortcomings and guide policymakers in building a comprehensive system of French-language workforce programs that are widely available, easy to find and designed to tackle the employment issues facing linguistic minorities. 

The full report is available here.

For more information contact:

Chad Walcott

Director of Engagement & Communications

Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT)

1-855-773-7885 ext. 737