(Montreal) If they crossed the border illegally to settle in Quebec, it is thanks to tourism that some asylum seekers could regularize their status.

Quebec intends to kill two birds with one stone by putting the skills of asylum seekers at the service of the tourism industry.

Present at the Assises du tourisme, which take place Thursday at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, the Minister of Employment, Kateri Champagne Jourdain, announced the deployment of a pilot project which will allow 3,000 asylum seekers to obtain a employment in the tourism sector within the next three years.

This measure, accompanied by an envelope of 10 million, will make it possible to respond quickly to the labor needs of the industry while maximizing the chances of integration of these asylum seekers, she indicated.

In the last quarter of 2022, some 24,000 jobs were vacant in the accommodation and catering sectors, just 10,000 less than a year earlier, said the minister, who called on employers in the tourism sector to demonstrate openness and broaden their prospects in terms of recruitment.

The announcement of the measure, which she described as “unprecedented”, earned a round of applause from Minister Champagne Jourdain, who believes that the impact of this initiative will be noticeable this summer.

“Our goal is to make your daily life easier by facilitating the hiring of asylum seekers while offering these people the opportunity to contribute to the prosperity of Quebec,” said the Minister responsible for the North Shore to the hundreds of delegates in front of her. . Obviously, we will take into account their skills and your needs. »

The Quebec Council for Human Resources in Tourism (CQRHT) will ensure that tourism businesses and candidates are connected, to whom support, francization, training and employment integration services will be offered.

The program is expected to take off next month.

Both companies looking for labor and asylum seekers – the latter must be awaiting a decision on their refugee status and hold a work permit – can already register on the site. of the CQRHT.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Champagne Jourdain continued. The potential benefits are significant for those who live in a certain insecurity because of their status, but also for a sector which needs all the talents available. »