Requalification of workers: Jean Boulet's ministry does not know if its star program has worked

Requalification of workers: Jean Boulet's ministry does not know if its star program has worked


Despite investing millions in training to reskill workers, Jean Boulet's Department of Labor doesn't know if the participants of his flagship program really got better jobs.&nbsp ;

“I took the course in installing resilient flooring. I've been in the field, and I realized that it wasn't for me,” says Marilou Gosselin, a 33-year-old waitress who has returned to catering.

“I liked doing training, but it was more the construction conditions that did not suit me,” she explains.

Like her, more than 20,599 Quebecers have participated in the Recovery Assistance Program by increasing training (PARAF), accompanied by a check for $ 500 per week, to obtain a new diploma over the past two years.

This $103 million program was one of the key pieces of the Legault government, which injected an additional $3.4 billion to address the talent shortage with great fanfare in November 2021.

“Not available”

The problem is that the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity (MTESS) does not yet know whether or not the people who participated in the program are working in their new field of employment.


“Currently, this information is not available”, admitted to the Journal the spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity (MTESS), Catherine Poulin, who is working on the in place of such monitoring.

Despite this, PARAF is considered a “success” because 75.8% of participants were working somewhere 12 weeks after their training.

Useful or not?

For Saidatou Dicko, professor of accounting sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), the fact that Quebec is unable to measure the success of the program raises questions.

“Can Maybe they don't have enough employees to follow the evolution of the program and its success?” she wonders aloud.

“The measurement indicator itself poses a problem, because we do not know whether they are employed in their retraining field or not”, analyzes the expert.

Same thing for Michel Séguin, professor of ethics at UQAM.

“If the goal was for people to work, it was successful. If it was to go to the sectors in particular, that remains to be seen. Perhaps the program was not necessary?” he wonders.

Thursday, the office of outgoing Labor Minister Jean Boulet was unable to provide explanations to the Journal.


  • Quebec has also set up the Program for requalification and support in information technology et des communications (PRATIC) in which more than 6,564 people have taken part since July 2021.

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