Legault government’s mini-budget | Bonuses and scholarships to combat the labor shortage

(Quebec) Generous scholarship program for students, bonus for retirees, retention programs: Quebec is working hard to reduce the shortage of manpower in health, education, children’s services and in three “sectors strategic ”, engineering, information technology and construction.

Posted on November 25, 2021 at 2:41 p.m.

Updated at 5:08 p.m.

Charles Lecavalier

Charles Lecavalier

” We can not do everything. As a government, it is important to make choices. And we chose essential services and strategic sectors, ”said Finance Minister Eric Girard on Thursday during the presentation of his minibudget.

The Legault government therefore wants to requalify and attract nearly 170,000 workers in these key places with a plan of 2.9 billion over five years.

In numbers

  • 27,000 people in health and social services
  • 8000 in education
  • 25,000 in educational childcare services
  • 55,000 in engineering and information technology
  • 55,000 under construction

It relies on 22,000 immigrants to fill some of these positions. For the rest, it wants to train students, re-qualify workers and attract retirees or people who are not currently in the labor market.

Are you a college or university student in engineering, information technology or nursing, for example? The Quebec government will give you thousands of dollars in scholarships to encourage you to finish your studies. It plans to invest 1.7 billion in measures “paid to students enrolled in programs affecting targeted professions”.

Students will be able to get up to $ 9,000 for technical training at college, and $ 15,000 at university for a three-year program, or $ 20,000 for a four-year program, all while tuition fees of Quebec are the lowest in the country, underlined Minister Girard.

All students, even those who have already started their training, will be entitled to this scholarship from the fall session of 2022. It will be paid after each successful full-time session, i.e. $ 1,500 at the college level, and $ 2,500 at the college level. ‘university. The exhaustive list of programs targeted by Quebec will be announced later, as will the fine details of the program. But already, we are assured that students who do not complete their training will not have to reimburse the amounts already paid.

Salary premium for retirees

This is not the only measure to tackle the labor shortage. Quebec will set up a temporary wage premium for retirees in certain professions in the public sector, at a cost of 60 million. In short, Quebec will give them directly the sum of money that it normally pays into the pension fund of a regular employee. This is an annual bonus of nearly $ 3,000 for a retiree with a work income of $ 40,000, it is specified.

Quebec targets in particular nurses, orderlies, psychologists, social workers, elementary and secondary teachers and specialized education technicians.

It also adds $ 1 billion over five years to increase the health workforce. This includes the hiring of thousands of administrative officers to free clinicians from the administrative tasks that prevent them from providing direct patient care. It adds $ 550 million in education, with workforce retention measures that have not yet been detailed.

Quebec also plans to invest $ 1.1 billion to help the engineering and information technology sectors. This includes the hiring of 500 professors in these cutting-edge sectors, as well as business assistance programs that could, for example, hire staff who are still under study. Quebec wants to “support companies grappling with recruitment difficulties by adapting study programs and allowing workers employed by participating companies to be released to take training, when part of the study program is carried out in the workplace through internships, ”the document states.

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