The opening of FERME's Quebec City office provides an opportunity to forge closer ties with the organization's members, in addition to offering new support and advisory services. A full-time coordinator based in the new office will be in charge of regional operations.
The labour shortage currently affecting the agricultural sector is far from being a recent phenomenon. Indeed, it was explicitly recognized by the federal government when the most recent agricultural reforms were implemented in June 2014. Agricultural firms are struggling to fill available positions and must look to foreign markets in order to bolster their production, growth and R&D efforts. Foreign workers' essential contributions help to ensure the vitality of this key sector, which generates over $20 billion in economic spinoffs across the province of Quebec each year.
Over the past few years, labour shortages have extended to other sectors that are peripheral to primary agriculture, including food processing, manufacturing, landscaping, etc. Attracting qualified workers is an ongoing challenge for a number of companies, including many in the Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions grappling with a "full-employment" situation.
"In the hopes of responding to a larger range of requests by local firms, FERME and QI have agreed to pool their expertise and join forces with a view to helping companies during all steps in the process of recruiting foreign workers, whether specialized or not," said FERME's president, Martin Gibouleau, together with Québec International's CEO, Carl Viel.
FERME is a non-profit organization founded over 27 years ago by a group of agricultural producers. It specializes in recruiting temporary foreign workers to fill various categories of low-skilled jobs and takes pride in helping producers to meet their labour needs. This year, FERME will welcome over 10,000 foreign workers who have come to play an active role in agricultural production in the Greater Quebec City region.
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Québec International contributes to regional economic development and promotes Quebec City's international standing. As the pre-eminent regional economic development agency, QI fosters business growth, supports key economic clusters and attracts talent and investment. For further information, please visit www.quebecinternational.ca.