Immigration Regionalization Organizations and Their Practices in Employment Settings in Five Regions of Quebec: Perspectives From the Organizations, the Employers, and the Immigrants
Research team: Michèle Vatz Laaroussi, Caroline Duteau, and Romain Amla, University of Sherbrooke
This research aims at identifying and analyzing the practices of immigration regionalization organizations in employment settings in several regions of Quebec. We used a qualitative methodology relying on semi-structured interviews with actors in regionalization organizations (5 organizations in 5 different regions for a total of 7 interviews), with actors in employment settings and enterprises (5 employers in these regions) and with immigrants (12 in the five regions, from different origins) who used the organizations to integrate into the workplace.
The study revealed that organizational practices vary according to their regional context. Organizations active in big cities focus on support to employers and companies aimed at integrating immigrants in the workplace. They play the role of coordinator between partnerships and serve as a gateway for immigrants helping them to navigate into the professional sphere. The organizations in mid-sized cities located closed to the big centres (Montreal and the City of Quebec) act as mediators/facilitators between employers and immigrants, while those in remote regions aim at immigrants’ general social and professional integration by trying to raise awareness of diversity as well as local and regional conditions. They act as guides for immigrants into the local community and towards companies they know.
The employers interviewed recognize themselves in this regional strategy. Some insist on the need to better equip them to access this new labour force. Others underline the importance of mediations. A third group focused on the need for a global integration and the awareness of the whole regional population. In all cases, the ones who benefit from the services of organizations perceive these latter as an added value and are satisfied with them.
Lastly, within the immigrant group, a majority were satisfied with the organizations’ functioning and practices and developed a feeling of belonging to their local communities. For these respondents, the influence of type of region and type of organizational practice was less emphasized. Country of origin, migration trajectory, education level, professional desires, religious identity and religious and ethnic visibility are the main variables to consider to understand the integration processes that are involved, along with perceptions regarding employment, employers and the local community. Indeed, several participants talked about the difficulty of having their professional qualifications recognized and some recounted feeling rejected by the local population and by potential employers.