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Quebec is turning to immigration as a recruitment strategy to fill trucking jobs in Canada going begging for a want of qualified workers to fill them.
The province had 315 job ads for truckers, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 with the code 73300, on Job Bank, the federal government’s job-hunting and career-planning website, in early June.
The Indeed.ca job-hunting website listed 323 positions for “camionneur”, the French word for trucker, at that time.
Those jobs were spread out throughout the province but the Greater Montreal Area and the Montérégie regions immediately south and east of that major city accounted for more than a third of all trucking jobs in Quebec.
Together, these two areas had employers offering 120 trucking jobs as of early June.
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In the Greater Montreal Area, there were 48 trucking positions listed on Job Bank and another 72 were up for grabs in the Montérégie region which is off the traffic-congested island of Montreal, abuts the Canada-United States border as well as the St. Lawrence Seaway, and has easy access to major highways linking it to the rest of the province.
In Quebec, the median hourly wage for trucking jobs is $22.08 but that varies from a low of $16 per hour right up to $30 per hour, reveals Job Bank.
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Based on a standard 37.5-hour work week, that would be $58,500 at the upper end of the annual wage scale for truckers in Quebec but truck drivers are also often paid bonuses by the kilometre, enabling them to earn significantly more.
With transportation companies desperately looking for truckers to replenish and grow their aging workforce, both the federal and provincial governments have been helping out with immigration policies to grant work permits and permanent residence to qualified foreign workers looking for these kinds of jobs in Canada.
If you are a candidate looking for a Canada job, or an employer looking to recruit foreign talent from abroad, immigration.ca can help. Access our expertise through our in-house recruitment enterprise skilledworker.com, “the leader in foreign recruitment”.
Truck driver is now one of the 82 jobs to be targeted with new occupation-specific Express Entry draws. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the new draws on May 31, saying they would start in summer 2023.
Unlike most provinces in Canada, Quebec does not participate in the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP) to help employers hire skilled refugees and other displaced individuals, including for trucking jobs.
The province, which operates its own immigration system also does not take part in the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program which added truck driver as one of 16 occupations to its list of eligible occupations when the NOC 2021 classification system was adopted in November last year.
Quebec Skilled Worker Program Offers Pathway To Permanent Residency
Quebec does, however, operate its own Regular Skilled Worker program for those foreign nationals who have training and professional skills that will facilitate their job integration in Quebec.
The program is soon to be revamped and renamed as the Skilled Worker Selection Program.
That means foreign nationals who want to work as truck drivers and have a job offer in Quebec can immigrate and get Canadian permanent residence in that province.
Using Quebec’s Arrima online Express of Interest (EOI) system applicants first create a profile which is then ranked based on his or her employability and contribution to the vitality of the French language.
Invitations To Apply (ITAs) are then issued during regular draws based on the applicant’s ranking in three main categories:
- human capital (age, proficiency in French, level of education, etc.);
- ability to find a job in Québec (having a validated job offer, having earned a degree in Quebec, or having temporary worker status with at least six months work experience in Quebec), and;
- changing needs of the job market (areas of training associated with fields experiencing labour shortages).
Foreign nationals can also work as truckers in Quebec through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) by first landing a job with an employer who will have to undertake a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before a work permit can be issued.
Once a foreign national has accumulated sufficient work experience in Quebec, he or she can then apply for permanent residence to the province through the newly-relaxed criteria for the Programme de l’Expérience Québécoise (PEQ) – or Quebec Experience Class immigration program.
The PEQ is an accelerated immigration program for international students and temporary workers similar to the federal Canadian Experience Class (CEC) pathway to permanent residence but with an even more simplified process.
Quebec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette announced earlier this year the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government may be reducing the work experience criteria under the PEQ, meaning at least some foreign nationals may soon be able to apply for permanent residence in Quebec with less work experience.