Un défi majeur pour nos entreprises - A major challenger for our companies

|| Written by Denis Bouchard - Le Quotidien

The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is going through a turmoil that may be a brake or, at best, a slowdown in its economy. Several companies, hundreds, by the way, are digging their brains to fill positions. The major challenge is more with respect to retailing and services, although there are employers waiting for candidates leaving CEGEPs and universities.

It must be acknowledged that the situation is unbelievable, as the unemployment rate in the region closed at 7.9 per cent in 2016, slightly above the provincial average (7.6 per cent). At the last survey in 2017, on March 10, it was at 7.6 per cent and indicated an improvement in the employment rate. The other reason why common people fail to believe that there is a shortage of employees is that the environmental discourse does not reflect statistics, notably because of the difficulties of large-scale industry, the upheavals experienced by the retail trade which faces competition from the Internet and the drop in major projects that is affecting manufacturers and professional firms.

The labor market has indeed raised a flag to indicate that employers, several hundred according to the document «Survey of recruitment, employment and training needs in establishments of five or more employees in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean», are threatened with slowdown, loss of contract or worse.

In the 44th Economic Report of Le Quotidien, to be published Saturday, our team of journalists draws a portrait that goes well beyond the statistics. With example, interviews and testimonies, we wanted to identify the sensitive sectors in order to contribute, ultimately, to the regional economy. On the one hand, this special «We Hire» puts the table for regional awareness and will help employers. On the other hand, he will be able to guide the Jeannois and the Saguenéens in search of employment.

Of course, there are several sectors of the economy that are concerned about recruitment, but it is important to remember that thousands of jobs will be filled in accessible areas, based more on social quotient than on technical training and/or professional. From customer service to jobs requiring a university degree, there is a range of positions to fill. Who would have thought that one day employers would jostle at job fairs to recruit young people still on the school benches?

And the initiatives are multiplying to attract the succession by offers «all inclusive», that is to say with paid training and guaranteed employment at the exit if you have succeeded your courses. A multinational like CGI, founded by the Jonquiérois Serge Godin, is a fine example of the situation. Last January, in partnership with Emploi Québec and the Cégep de Chicoutimi, the company called for candidates to recruit 15 students who would be offered a job at the end of the line. But CGI‘s needs go beyond this approach, with some thirty jobs currently available at its Chicoutimi office.

For months now, the management of Resolute Forest Products has announced that 800 jobs will be filled within a few years and invites young people to enroll in training courses that are available in local school boards or CEGEPs. It must be understood that the industry has been struck by so many upheavals and harsh blows over the last decade that young people have also fled the training areas. There is now the return of the pendulum to the advantage of job seekers.

In another area, JAMEC of Normandin took the bull by the horns by participating financially in training and guaranteeing jobs. The specificity of the program: this is a tailor-made training that can be suitable for a quarantine worker, for example, who wants a change of career, or for young people who are questioning their future.

You will learn much more by reading this special notebook because we have raked wide so as to well encamp the challenge that faces the employers of the region and the prospects available to job seekers.


Article published on March 10, 2017, on Le Quotidien