The government ignores the opinion of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) by including the profession of refrigeration engineer in a reduced and paid training to attract new workers to the industry.
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To alleviate labor shortages on construction sites, François Legault recently announced crash courses that paid $750 a week for five construction trades. Quebec wants to hire up to 5,000 new workers for the summer.
But while the CCQ has given the go-ahead to temporary four to six month fast-track training for carpenters, construction machinery operators and tinners, this is not the case for the cooling course.
After the analysis, the organization that oversees the construction sector refused to support the government for the creation of a reduced course for workers who are especially responsible for installing and maintaining heating systems and ventilation and air conditioning in buildings, as well as refrigeration and freezing equipment in grocery stores.
Currently, training leading to the Diploma of Professional Studies (DEP) in Refrigeration takes anywhere from 18 months to two years.
“The board of directors of the CCQ has agreed to allow, for a temporary period, a new access route to issue a certificate of competence to people who have passed a certificate of professional studies (AEP) leading to the following professions: carpenter , tinner, heavy. equipment operator and excavator operator. For its part, the government has chosen to add the profession of refrigeration engineer”, he limited himself to commenting on the supervision of the construction sector.
Remember that employers and unions are represented on the CCQ board, as is the new president, Audrey Murray, a former CAQ candidate and former deputy minister in the Legault government.
Risks of electrocution
The Provincial Council of Construction Trades (International) is concerned about the risks that future ill-trained refrigeration workers could take and the quality of the work that will be carried out.
“Refrigeration engineer, let’s be honest, is a rather complex profession, it is very similar to mechanical professions such as plumbers or electricians”, emphasizes the general director of the trade union center, Patrick Bérubé.
According to him, four to six months of training for a profession where the risks of electrocution are very present and which is based on strict food refrigeration standards, “certainly will not be enough”.
Mr. Bérubé cannot believe that the government is moving forward despite the opposition of the sector.
In the Labor Minister’s office, the answer is that the government has taken a “pragmatic approach” to finding concrete solutions to the construction labor shortage.
“It is up to the CCQ board of directors to explain their decisions. The truth is that the shortage of refrigeration engineers in the industry is urgent and that 55% of them arrive at the works without training, a rate that is increasing more and more. Our government is acting to counter this situation,” it was argued.