(Montreal) The minimum wage will cross the symbolic threshold of $15 per hour in less than two weeks in Quebec, but already many companies must set their own minimum wage at a much higher level to hope to recruit the rare commodities that are become people available on the labor market.

On the sidelines of the Job and Continuing Education Fair, which will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, an in-house survey conducted by the organizers of the event revealed that many companies will be open to offering salaries much more attractive to employees who used to earn minimum wage in order to convince them to join their ranks.

In some cases, the posted salary could even be $5 to $7 higher than the $15.25 that will be mandatory as of May 1 in Quebec.

“We have heard a lot of certain companies saying that it will hurt them, but what we see with the survey is that there are certain companies which will not only welcome this increase, but which will even go further. away,” explained the director of L’Évènement Carrières, Éric Boutié, in an interview with La Presse Canadienne.

“The internal survey we conducted of our exhibitors showed that almost 30% of employers were going to offer $5 to $7 more than the minimum wage, which will come into effect on May 1. I understand through this result that companies have difficulty attracting workers and that one of the arguments to attract them is the salary. »

According to Mr. Boutié, it is therefore clear that “now the minimum wage is no longer sufficient – and is far from sufficient – to attract human resources, even for unskilled jobs”.

Other companies could instead focus on their working conditions, by offering telecommuting, longer holidays or social benefits, but “salary is definitely one of the tools at the top of the list”.

“ Even for unskilled jobs, which do not necessarily require training or a diploma, I think that there is also inflation which has been really significant for several months and which affects salaries ”, said Mr. Boutié .

16,000 jobs available

During the Career and Continuing Education Fair, more than 300 employers will compete for available talent to meet their labor needs.

And there are needs.

During the two days of the event alone, 16,000 jobs will be offered to participants, who will be able to come and meet employers and apply, all for free. This figure has also quintupled compared to what it was in 2018, according to the organizers.

Of course, the event itself has grown in size compared to five years ago, acknowledged Mr. Boutié, but this strong increase in the number of positions offered also demonstrates the evolution of the job market in Quebec, he said.

“Proportionally, we have a lot more jobs to fill. Even last year, we were more around 10,000 or 12,000 jobs”, he underlined.

“We have big players who will be present – Airbus, the National Bank, the Quebec government – so these are companies that have a lot of jobs to fill. This inflates the numbers a bit, but it’s a reality: there are a lot of vacancies right now in Quebec. »

According to Mr. Boutié, there is something for everyone at the fair: from young people coming out of school to workers who want to requalify, including newcomers.

“The show will be subdivided into themes, so we will have pavilions for aerospace, manufacturing, agri-food, retail, restaurants, hotels, etc. We have almost all sectors of industry that will be represented at the show through these thematic pavilions”, he mentioned.