Quebec employment minister wants to recruit asylum seekers to work in health care

MONTREAL — The Quebec government is launching a pilot project to recruit about 1,500 asylum seekers over the next three years to fill labour shortages in the health-care system.

Employment Minister Kateri Champagne Jourdain made the announcement Monday in Montreal.

In a news release, Champagne Jourdain said many would-be refugees have work permits and want to contribute to Quebec society. The government, she added, will work with two community organizations — one in Montreal and the other in Quebec City — to place people in the health system.

The province is seeking people to fill positions such as patient-care aides, kitchen and maintenance staff, and administrators. These in-demand jobs require few qualifications and help people rapidly integrate into the employment market.

Regions included in the pilot project are the Montreal area, Quebec City, and Chaudière-Appalaches, located south of the provincial capital.

To be eligible, candidates must hold a valid work permit and have an intermediate level of French.

Champagne Jourdain's office said a similar program, connecting asylum seekers with jobs in the tourism sector, has received interest from 1,098 would-be refugees and 120 employers since it was announced last May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.

The Canadian Press