Off-campus work for foreign university students:
A tangible move toward attracting and
retaining talented people to Montreal
Montreal, Tuesday, November 22, 2005 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal enthusiastically welcomes the important announcement by Lise Thériault, Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, that foreign students at Montreal universities will also be allowed to accept jobs off the university campus.
As we highlighted in the last issue of Montreal Health Report, allowing foreign students to take jobs while they are studying is a tangible means of attracting and, especially, retaining emerging talent to Montreal and Quebec. In a situation where, within a few years, 100% of the net increase in manpower will come from immigration, the ability to take in immigrants who were educated here and already have experience working in Quebec, is one that we do not have the luxury of passing up. In addition, we are especially pleased that the minister was responsive to the joint appeal made by Montreal's universities, student associations and the business community, stated Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
One of the things that emerged from our Health Report is the fact that Montreal universities have a powerful attraction for students from abroad, who make up 10% of enrolment. We believe that it is important to take greater advantage of this asset in order to attract talented people to Montreal and retain them here. Allowing off-campus work is an excellent initiative that will make it easier for these students to put down roots in the Montreal community, Ms. Hudon added.
It is important to remember that, even now, a third of foreign university students remain in the metropolitan region after graduating. The Health Report also pointed out that Montreal's quality of life and cultural vitality are key factors in retaining these talented people. We believe that we should set an objective for the future so that not one, but two out of three students from outside Quebec choose to stay in the city, make their life here and contribute to wealth creation. The idea is simply to take full advantage of our assets: as the data show, students who get a taste of the city often stay. In this context, today's announcement allows us to take a big step toward attaining this objective, Ms. Hudon concluded.
For more information on educating, attracting and retaining talented people, you can go to the Board of Trade's Web site and consult the second edition of the Montreal Health Report (August 2005): www.btmm.qc.ca
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community for the greater Montreal area and to offer a full range of specialized services to individuals, merchants and companies of all sizes so as to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4008