1705065504 Paid to study but not required to go to the

Paid to study, but not required to go to the construction site afterwards –

Will the students paying $750 a week for accelerated construction training really all end up on construction sites in Quebec next summer? Nothing is less certain because, despite the financial incentives they receive, they are not obliged to work in construction afterwards.

“We find it a little dangerous and a little worrying,” admits the president of the Quebec Provincial Council of Construction Trades (CPQMCI), Michel Trépanier.

Mr Trépanier recalls that the Legault government allocated $300 million to attract thousands of students to new shortened training courses, which has left five construction trades in desperate need of workers.

“We want to ensure that our investment pays off,” emphasizes Mr. Trépanier. Immediately after announcing this initiative last October, he said he had briefed the government on the importance of imposing detention measures.

He hoped that relevant ministers would take measures to ensure that students actually become construction workers before training begins this month.

Unfortunately, much to our surprise, the recording was not adjusted.

According to Mr Trépanier, the government should have introduced an obligation similar to the one it imposed on the 10,000 beneficiaries who were trained at full speed during the pandemic.

Masked prospective participants take part in a lesson in a classroom.

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In 2020, accelerated vocational training for beneficiary carers was introduced. (archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Hadi Hassin

They had to commit to working in a CHSLD for at least one year, otherwise they had to repay the scholarship they received during their training.

Remember that, unlike the beneficiaries, Quebec is not the employer of a plumber or a refrigeration technician, answers Louis-Julien Dufresne, press secretary to the Minister of Labor Jean Boulet.

It is in the interest of the student taking one of these courses to work in the construction field. The short training gives the worker access to a well-paying job for which he was trained and can start his career on a solid basis.

I do not believe it

However, Radio-Canada announced earlier this week that several accelerated training courses that were scheduled to begin in the coming days have been delayed.

In certain cases, the public sector strike slowed the progress of cohorts already enrolled in regular vocational training programs.

In other cases, there is a lack of space or delays in the delivery of the materials necessary to begin accelerated training.

François Legault accompanied by the ministers Champagne, Jourdain, Drainville and Boulet.

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Five construction trades are part of the government initiative: tinsmith, carpenter, excavator operator, heavy equipment operator and refrigeration technician.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

Despite everything, Quebec still wants to hire up to 5,000 new construction workers who can start work in June. “But I don’t believe it,” replies Mr. Trépanier.

At the Association of Construction and Housing Professionals of Quebec (APCHQ), we also recognize that even if we train 5,000 students, it is not realistic to expect them all to end up on construction sites.

In a normal curve, there will be a percentage of people for whom this will ultimately not be the case, analyzes Isabelle Demers, vice president of strategic development, public affairs and innovation at APCHQ.

If 80% remained, it would be a motivated, trained and competent workforce. It has a lot of value.

According to Ms Demers, the lack of retention measures may seem paradoxical, but it is still preferable if employers have the opportunity to find the best and are not obliged to hire new employees.

There are people who are not motivated. Maybe they decided to take the training simply because of the financial incentive. Do we then want to have them on construction sites? Maybe not! she illustrates.