Quebec invests over $18 million to boost desperately needed IT jobs

In its big push to fill the labour shortage in the tech (IT) sector, Quebec will subsidize internships in companies to promote short-term programs using a work-study formula.

"These types of programs have a phenomenal graduation rate of 85 per cent," said Employment Minister Jean Boulet while announcing an $18.8 million investment in the sector Monday.

The retention rate after three months is 91 per cent, Boulet said.

"This is really a win-win solution," said Boulet. "The person works, say, three days a week, studies two days a week, and gets paid. They get the financial support, the employer gets the academic learning, and the educational institution gets the practical experience gained in the company."

The training programs developed under the Short Term Training Program for Quebec's work partners commission (CPMT) will include between nine and 30 credits or between 130 and 500 hours. The "work" portion will be credited as an internship as part of the course of study.

Under the new program, companies will be able to be reimbursed for wages up to $25 per hour during training and up to $20,000 per participant.

The government hopes that more than 700 workers will keep their jobs or enter the workforce as a result of the incentive.

Quebec estimates that 10,000 positions need to be filled in the information and communications technology sector and wants to pull out all the stops to fill this workforce need.

A week ago, the government announced a $40 million program aimed at attracting 2,500 pandemic unemployed and job seekers.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 31, 2021. 

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