Mechanical Engineering Training for Quebec Manufacturers

Marie-Ève Labranche

Manufacturiers et Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) and the Cégeps of Thetford and Sept-Îles are pleased to launch a new training cohort in mechanical engineering as part of the Mechanical Engineering Pathway project. Made possible by the financial participation of the Government of Quebec, this project, which is part of the Short-Term Training Program which favours internships in occupations prioritized by the Commission des partenaires du marché du travail. Twenty-three students from 22 manufacturing companies will undertake work-study training to obtain a college diploma.

“Training and requalification are at the heart of efforts to counter the labour shortage. The Engineering Career Path, offered on a co-op basis, promotes the development of employees’ skills while adequately meeting the labour needs of businesses,” explained Jean Boulet, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region.

The Mechanical Engineering Pathway allows workers already employed by manufacturing companies to be trained to increase their skill level to hold positions as mechanical engineering technicians, methods technicians, or drafters. 

“This project is a great initiative that makes it possible to invest in the skills training of workers already employed so that they can upgrade their skills to reach more qualified positions while taking into account the realities of the manufacturing sector,” says Éric Misson, Director of Continuing Education and Business Services at the Cégep de Sept-Îles.

In a context where labour needs in the manufacturing sector are significant, this project trains employees with a formula adapted to the industrial reality. It also allows for the reimbursement of the worker’s salary, up to $15 per hour, for the duration of the training.

“The Mechanical Engineering Pathway promotes the matching of training and employment and increases the number of people graduating from the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur in a specialized field with significant labour needs,” says François Guay, Director of Continuing Education, Innovation and Research at Cégep de Thetford.

In 2018, MEQ launched the M project, which consisted of different training paths: mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, and machining, based on an experimental work-study model. This initiative enabled nearly 60 participants to obtain a diploma.

“Building on our success with Project M, where we developed a winning work-study model and approach,” says Véronique Proulx, President and CEO of MEQ. “We are proud to offer a new cohort with the Mechanical Engineering Pathway to provide Quebec manufacturers with a solution to counter the impact of the labour shortage and give them access to qualified workers.”

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