Press Release: Québec’s 2024-2025 Budget Missing Investments Needed for Employability of Québec’s English Speakers

2024 - 03 - 13 Outreach

Québec’s 2024-2025 Budget Missing Investments Needed for Employability of Québec’s English Speakers

The Provincial Employment Roundtable is concerned over the lack of investment in employment services and programs targeted towards the English-speaking community in Québec’s 2024-2025 Budget released this week. Although some investments are being made in French-language training, the funds needed to correct the historic underfunding of targeted employment services for the community were missing. 

“Given that Québec’s English-speaking community is an important part of the province’s economic fabric, the absence of sufficient investment in employment services for our community is troubling,” expressed Nicholas Salter, Executive Director of the Provincial Employment Roundtable. 

“We understand that this budget was presented in a tight economic context. However, Quebec’s English-speaking community has been trailing behind in key economic indicators, for a number of years. The situation is alarming and requires government intervention. Addressing the employment needs of Québec’s English speakers is paramount to improving the community’s vitality and contributing to the province’s economic growth,” continued Salter. 

In the 2016 Census, the unemployment rate for Québec’s English speakers was about 7%. Recently released 2021 Census data shows it has jumped to nearly 11% — 4 percentage points higher than Francophones. The Provincial Employment Roundtable estimates that closing the unemployment gap between English and French speakers would add 28,000 English-speaking workers to Québec’s economy. 

“Pairing targeted employment services for Quebec’s English speakers with French-language training in the workplace would go a long way to addressing some of the labour shortages across the province. It’s a win-win for our community and Québec,” said Salter.  

Positive news on French-language training

While the rate of bilingualism among Québec’s English speakers is high, French proficiency nevertheless remains the biggest barrier to employment. This budget invests $320 million over the next five years to meet the growing demand for francization and increase Francisation Québec’s capacity. 

If the government had invested in targeted employment services for English speakers, they would also be strengthening the investments being made to promote the French-language.

“The investments in French-language training are welcome. However, a funded action plan is needed to coordinate French-language training with targeted employment services for Québec’s English speakers. We also need to see more uptake in French-language training on the job and with professional orders,” adds Salter.

Missed Opportunity to Boost Quebec’s Economic Performance

“This budget was a missed opportunity to boost Québec’s productivity and invest in a population that could be an engine for growth. Doing so would have improved relations with the community, enhanced workplace diversity, and strengthened Québec’s economic performance,” concludes Salter.


For more information, please contact:

Chad Walcott
Director of Engagement & Communications
Telephone: 1-855-773-7885 ext 02

About the Provincial Employment Roundtable

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