New Quebec Pilot Program For Food Production Workers Now Open For Applications

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New Quebec Pilot Program For Food Production Workers Now Open For Applications
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Quebec immigration’s new pilot program for food production workers is open for applications as of March 24, 2021.

The program offers a pathway to Quebec immigration for temporary foreign workers in eligible jobs in the food production sector.

The application window for 2021 is open between March 24 and October 31.

Quebec’s Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI) plans to select 550 candidates per year through the pilot program. It will close in January 2026.


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Quebec Food Production Workers Pilot

This program is for those working in food or beverage production in Quebec.

Among the occupations covered by the program are those with the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes and descriptions:

  • 6732 – Specialized cleaners
  • 8431 – General farm workers
  • 9461 – Process control and machine operators, food and beverage processing
  • 9462 – Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • 9463 – Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 9617 – Labourers in food and beverage processing
  • 9618 – Labourers in fish and seafood processing

This pilot program requires that applicants:

  • Have accumulated at least two years of experience in the last three years in either the food or beverage production industry.
  • Currently work full-time in either of those sectors in Quebec.
  • Have a level 7 proficiency in French as measured by the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes.
  • Have at least a high school diploma (DES) or diploma of vocational studies (DEP).

The food production workers pilot is one of three initially announced in May and July last year, along with pilots for orderlies plus AI, IT and visual effects workers.

They were described by the province’s immigration minister as actions to allow immigrants to “fully contribute to the development of Quebec society by choosing to settle there and work in these spheres of activity.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of Canada’s borders to almost all non-essential travel cut immigration to Quebec by more than a third last year and took a serious toll on its economy.

Economic activity in Canada’s francophone province dropped sharply during the pandemic, driving its real GDP down by 5.2 per cent and pushing employment down 4.6 per cent last year, reports TD Economics.

That’s expected to turn around this year.

TD Economics is forecasting real GDP growth of five per cent and a rise in employment of 5.1 per cent this year in Quebec.


Orderlies Pilot Program

The Orderlies Pilot Program is slated to start March 31 and is for nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates.

Among the occupations covered by the program are those with the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes and descriptions:

  • 3011 – Nursing co-ordinators and supervisors
  • 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 3124 – Allied primary health practitioners
  • 3233 – Licensed practical nurses
  • 4412 – Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations

This pilot program requires that applicants:

  • Have a DEP in a related field of study in the two years prior to their application.
  • Have at least two years of experience in this type of occupation.
  • Currently work in one of the five stated occupations.
  • Have a level 7 proficiency in French as measured by the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes.

AI, IT and Visual Effects Workers Pilot Program

This pilot program is split into two streams, one for those working in AI and the other for IT workers and those specializing in visual effects.

The AI stream, which will accept up to 275 candidates, is for those who are working or having accepted a full-time job in Quebec in artificial intelligence and have either:

  • at least a level 7 proficiency in French as measured by the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes, or;
  • are enrolled in a French-language training program.

The criteria for this first stream make a distinction between those who graduated outside of Quebec and those who graduated within the province.

Those who graduated outside the province have to have:

  • a university degree equivalent to a bachelor’s in Quebec;
  • an annual salary of at least $100,000 within the boundaries of the Montreal Urban Community (MUC) or at least $75,000 outside the MUC, and;
  • either:
  1. two years of full-time work experience in jobs with NOC codes O,A or B within the last five years, or;
  2. A university degree equivalent to masters or doctoral degree from a Quebec university issued within the last year.

Those who are Quebec grads have to have:

  • a specialized graduate diploma (DESS), a masters or doctoral degree, issued in Quebec within the last two years and have lived in the province for at least half the time of that academic program;
  • work experience. While no work experience is required for grads with masters or doctoral degrees, those with a DESS need to have completed at least six months of full-time work experience in an NOC category O, A, or B job with the year after graduation.

The visual effects stream, which will also accept a maximum of 275 candidates, is open to those in jobs with the following NOC system codes:

  • 0213 – Computer and information systems managers
  • 2133 – Electrical and electronics engineers
  • 2171 – Information systems analysts and consultants
  • 2173 – Software engineers and designers
  • 2174 – Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • 2241 – Electrical and electronics engineering technologists and technicians
  • 2281 – Computer network technicians
  • 5131 – Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations
  • 5225 – Audio and video recording technicians
  • 5241 – Graphic designers and illustrators

Candidates for this stream need to have either:

  • at least a level 7 proficiency in French as measured by the Échelle québécoise des niveaux de compétence en français des personnes immigrantes adultes, or;
  • be enrolled in a French-language training program.

They also need to:

  • hold a college diploma (DEC) issued in Quebec or a bachelor’s degree granted by a Quebec university;
  • have completed at least two years of full-time work experience in an admissible occupation within the last five years, and;
  • either currently hold a job or have accepted a job offer in one of the acceptable occupational categories where the salary being offered is above 90 per cent of the average wage over the past three years for this occupation in Quebec as measured by the province’s ministry of employment, the Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS).
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