Quebec has inked a deal with the Swiss government to recognize the professional credentials of five groups of healthcare workers educated in that European country.
“Quebec and Switzerland both have established networks of world-class institutions of higher learning and highly-skilled professionals and so we are growing our pool of potential workers whose professional qualifications meet the standards set in Quebec,” said Nadine Girault, the province’s minister of inter-governmental affairs and the francophonie.
“This is excellent news for the Quebec economy!”
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Quebec’s labour shortage is one of the most serious in Canada. Although the country is itself currently facing a tight labour market with a record-low unemployment rate of only 5.1 per cent, Quebec’s unemployment rate is even lower, at only 3.9 per cent, notes Statistics Canada.
Quebec-Switzerland Deal A First For That European Nation
Under the foreign credential recognition agreement signed June 14, Quebec and Switzerland will each accept the professional credentials of one another’s dental hygienists, midwives, social workers and family therapists, dental appliance and prostheses technicians, and medical imaging, radiotherapy and medical electrophysiology technicians.
“This is the first time such an agreement has been signed between Switzerland and a partner outside the European Union,” tweeted Swiss government spokesman André Simonazzi in French.
The deal allows Quebec and Switzerland to later expand the number of occupations covered under the agreement.
In a statement, Switzerland noted the foreign credential recognition agreement allows students entering these professions to know even before they start school where they will be able to work once they graduate.
“Swiss training establishments are with this agreement boosting their visibility on the world stage,” notes the statement.
Quebec Expecting Surge In Temporary Foreign Workers This Year
Quebec immigration is expected to skyrocket to roughly 71,275 new permanent residents this year, up more than 41.7 per cent from the 50,285 last year, as the province tries to make up for immigrants who were unable to come at the height of the pandemic.
The boost in immigration to Quebec comes as the province is also expecting an increase in temporary foreign workers from the roughly 30,000 who worked in the province last year.
Quebec, which operates its own immigration system, requires foreign nationals to get a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) before seeking permanent residency in Canada.
Employers hoping to hire a foreign national can avail themselves of this international talent and labour through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), and; the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The Global Talent Stream (GTS), a part of the (TFWP), can under normal processing situations lead to the granting of Canadian work permits and processing of visa applications within two weeks.
Employers can also bring in foreign nationals to fill available positions through the Express Entry system, which receives immigration applications online.
Applicants who meet eligibility criteria submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program, to the Express Entry Pool.
The candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are considered for ITAs for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees within a delay of 90 days.