Building strong pathways to employment and increasing the employability of Quebec’s English-speakers will take a collective effort.
From May 31 to June 1, 2023, practitioners and stakeholders from Quebec’s government, post-secondary education, employability services and community sectors gathered at the Palais des congrès in Montreal for a two-day conference, entitled Unlocking Potential: Creating Opportunities for Quebec’s Workforce.
Hosted jointly by the Consortium of English-language CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities of Quebec, the Provincial Employment Roundtable (PERT), and the Regional Development Network (RDN), the conference explored the following questions:
- How can the economic potential of Quebec’s English-speaking community be unlocked?
- What kind of employment services need to be developed and offered?
- How does the skills training ecosystem need to evolve to improve the English-speaking community’s employability?
Experts and speakers shared their insights during panel discussions and sessions covering:
- The latest 2021 census data on employment for English speakers
- Best practices in employment service delivery and accessibility for English speakers
- Accessibility of employment services and economic opportunity in the regions
- Strategies for increasing the representation of English speakers in Québec’s civil service
- Innovative skills development and experiential learning education initiatives
The Consortium had the opportunity to spotlight our research and activities related to addressing the longstanding under-representation of English-speaking Quebecers in Quebec’s Public Service, along with other inter-institutional Skills for Success and Experiential Learning initiatives aimed at better integrating work and post-secondary education to create employment opportunities and retain graduates from English-language institutions here in Quebec.
The keynote address was delivered by Graham Carr, Principal and Vice-chancellor of Concordia University.
For more information, please consult the conference program here.
“The priority for English-language educational institutions is to demonstrate that we are, and want even more to be, part of the solution when it comes to addressing the dual priorities of foregrounding the francophone character of Québec and developing talent for the workforce of tomorrow.”
“Nous voulions nous concentrer sur ce que nous pouvons faire de plus, et de mieux, afin de nous assurer que les diplômés de nos établissements aient les aptitudes nécessaires pour réussir et pour rester au Québec une fois leurs études terminées. »
“To be successful, colleges and universities need to think and act outside the box, developing partnerships with business, government, public sector institutions and not-for-profits to better understand the changing dynamics and changing needs of the labor market, but also to create real-world opportunities for students that incentivize them to hone their skills and training while in school. For universities and colleges ‘à l’expression de la langue anglaise’ this also means working conscientiously to create pathways to ensure our students embrace the language and culture that make Québec distinctive. If we can get all these groups to work in concert, across sectors, imagine the potential we can unlock by preparing our students to help Québec build a robust, resilient culture and economy for the future.”
- Keynote Address – Graham Carr, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Concordia University (June 1, 2023)