Commission des partenaires du marché du travail

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Québec has a long history of partnership in workforce and employment issues, from its apprenticeship commissions in 1945 and vocational training commissions in 1969 to the Forum pour l’emploi (1989), the Conférence permanente de la main-d’œuvre (1990) and the Société québécoise de développement de la main-d’œuvre (1992). Partnership has enabled and continues to enable Québec to obtain more accurate labour market information and develop better measures adapted to workforce and business needs.

From 1992 to 1997, employability development and manpower training measures were the shared responsibility of the federal and Québec governments, the Ville de Montréal and the Société québécoise de développement de la main-d’œuvre, whose board of directors included business and union leaders.

The Commission des partenaires du marché du travail (Commission) was established in June 1997, under the Act respecting the Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail, in the wake of the federal government’s granting of full responsibility for active employment measures to the Québec government.  Since then, the Commission has made workplace skills development its main focus.

Since its creation, the Commission has tackled a number of major responsibilities, including administering the Act to foster the development of manpower training and the sector-based action policy. It has helped implement the Canada-Québec Labour Market Agreement and has contributed to managing Emploi-Québec, the public employment service created in 1998.

In 2001, the Commission adopted the workforce skills development and recognition framework and joined with the Québec government to develop and deploy the Government Policy on Adult Education and Continuing Education and Training.

In 2004, the Commission helped define the central objective of the government’s employment plan, namely, raising Quebecers’ standard of living by improving employment and productivity rates, while favouring investments in skills development. These cornerstones for a higher standard of living have since become the main orientations of Emploi-Québec’s annual action plan.

In 2007, the National Assembly adopted the Act to promote workforce skills development and recognition. The purpose of the Act is to improve the qualifications and skills of the present and future workforce through investment in training, concerted action between management, unions and community partners and the education sector, the development of training modes and the recognition of employed workers’ skills. In the same spirit, the Act respecting the Ministère de l'Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale and the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail was amended to entrust the Commission with new responsibilities related to implementing labour development programs and services.

As part of its new responsibilities, the Commission adopted its first official sector-based policy on February 7, 2008, entitled Agir en concertation : un atout pour l’avenir. Grounded in the participation and commitment of labour market partners, the policy, which was approved by the Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity, defines the main strategic  directions for facilitating the necessary labour market adjustments, particularly in the current economic context.

In the wake of the global economic crisis in 2008 and the years following, the Soutien aux entreprises à risque de ralentissement économique (SERRÉ) program was introduced in fiscal 2008-2009 to support businesses hit by the economic slowdown. The downturn in business operations would likely lead to layoffs or reduced hours for certain employees. The program provided businesses with financial assistance to retrain and keep those workers employed. The program was funded through the Workforce Skills Development and Recognition Fund and financial support from the Québec government under the Employment Pact Plus initiative. Other measures were also put in place during the same period.

In 2010, for the first time, the Commission developed its own strategic plan (2011-2014) separate from that of the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale.

In 2012, Investissement-compétences, an initiative of labour market partners aimed at fostering work skills development and a continuous learning culture in the workplace, was introduced at the end of a joint reflective exercise by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail and Emploi-Québec to find a concrete solution to continuous on-the-job training and develop accessible and effective training for the benefit of employers and workers alike.

In 2012, the Commission undertook a major governance initiative. Extensive work led to the updating or establishment of rules of operation for the deliberative assembly and its bodies, the creation of a governance, ethics and risk management committee, a risk management action plan, various tools, and more.

Lastly, on November 10, 2016, the Québec government adopted Bill 70, An Act to allow a better match between training and jobs and to facilitate labour market entry. The purpose of the Act is to enable stronger government action to match training to jobs.

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Last update: 2019-12-11

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