Quebec-France Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications

Brief: 
  • The Quebec-France Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications facilitates, among other things, integrating skilled workers wishing to practise their profession or trade in Quebec, thereby lessening the negative economic impact of the declining and ageing workforce and encouraging greater movement of skilled workers to the province.
  • It is a major building block of Quebec’s new economic space.
  • It covers all individuals who obtained their education credentials, as well as their legal authorization to practise their profession or trade, in either Quebec or France.
The problem addressed by the campaign: 
  • A slow decline in and a rapid ageing of Quebec’s population will lead to a decrease of the working-age population after 2030 if migration is not leveraged. Up to 1.4 million jobs need to be filled by 2019.
  • Quebec has an active agenda to attract a specific profile of immigrant that would adapt well to living in Quebec and respond to workforce needs. One objective of Quebec’s immigration planning for the skilled workers category is to increase the number of selected candidates who speak French. This is a challenge because of the limited number of countries where potential immigrants have a working knowledge of French.
Solution: 
  • A Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) simplifies and speeds the recognition of the individuals’ professional qualifications.
  • Mutual recognition of professional qualifications is designed to:
    • Remove obstacles impeding the mobility of workers practising regulated professions or trades
    • Simplify and speed the recognition of the individuals’ professional qualifications
    • Increase business competitiveness, in light of the strong global competition that exists, by facilitating and accelerating the recruitment of qualified workers as needed
  • Respond more effectively to labour needs in both the manufacturing and service sectors in France and Quebec
Impact: 
  • At the end of 2010, over 100 professions and trades were examined by the professional and occupational regulatory authorities applying a common procedure, leading to, when possible, the signing of MRAs for each of them.
  • This has enabled quicker, easier access to regulated trades and professions.
Why has it worked?: 

By increasing the number of selected candidates who speak French and by maintaining a diversified service in offering French courses, Quebec has designed policies maintaining the “French fact” in conjunction with highly active immigration policies to support economic development.

Conclusions and Recommendations: 
  • Perform workforce planning in partnership with labour market partners to better understand which skills are needed.
  • Design migration policies in collaboration with employment and employment agencies.
  • Ease the transition from temporary to permanent status for skilled workers.
Foundational Issues: 
Public and private constraints on mobility
Level of Collaboration: 
Level 4: Collaboration on a global or multistakeholder level
Region: 
Global (all of the above)
Economic and political context: 

Province of Quebec:

  • Population size: 8 million
  • Unemployment rate: 7.6%
  • GDP: US$ 265 billion
  • Minimum wage: CAD 9.65/hour

France:

  • Population size: 65 million
  • Unemployment rate: 9.5%
  • GDP: US$ 2.5 trillion
  • Minimum wage: 9.00 euro/hour
About the Author(s): 

Gouvernement du Québec, Québec, Canada

  • Note: Quebec is not responsible for delivering visas.