The program is designed to fill a shortage of qualified communications and information technology professionals in the province.
"With PRATIC, our goal is clear," Minister Jean Boulet said in a statement. "We are putting in place incentives to increase the pool of skilled labor in this sector, which is a priority to support the recovery of our economy."
According to the program outline, students' training must "lead to obtaining an attestation of college studies or the possibility of taking tailor-made training related to a job or enrolling in a certificate program or a microprogram offered at a university."
Courses will be offered on a full-time basis and will last for "a minimum of 45 hours."
What’s the payment and who can enrol?
According to the ministry, "PRATIC participants could benefit from financial assistance of $650 per week for the duration of their training" and a scholarship of $1,950 "will also be awarded to them upon successful completion of their training."
The program is intended for unemployed people who haven't been studying full-time for the past 12 months.
If you think you qualify, you'll need to schedule an appointment with a Services Québec employment assistance agent to apply.
Registration for PRATIC will open on July 1, 2021.
Since July 1, it has been possible for people who have had to recover from unemployment due to the pandemic and for people who have not been studying full time in the last 12 months to register for one of the training programs of the Program for the requalification and the accompaniment in information technology and communications (PRATIC).
Whether it's a college or university program, a certificate, an attestation of college studies (AEC) or a diploma of specialized graduate studies (DESS), among others, there are 142 training programs waiting for future students.
In Montreal alone, nearly sixty college programs and 20 university programs are available, and a total of 15 in the Capitale-Nationale region.
There are, for example, ACSs in programming, multimedia production, mobile application development or graphic design, to name a few.
The complete list of training courses offered by region can be found on the government website.
Thanks to a budget of some $39.6 million, financial assistance of $650 per week will be offered to 2,500 Quebecers for the duration of their full-time training. A $1,950 bursary will be awarded to graduates.
Who is eligible to enroll in PRATIC?
Two criteria will determine if a person is eligible to register for PRATIC. You must be unemployed and not have been a full-time student in the 12 months prior to applying.
The government suggests that you contact the Services Québec office in your area and an agent will determine with the future student if PRATIC corresponds to his/her needs.
Clarence Emile, co-owner of Centre U Fit, told MTL Blog that he and his partner are "really excited."
In November, Emile was left confused about what he could do in his gym due to ambiguous language surrounding government rules, resulting in multiple visits from the SPVM.
"Obviously it sucks because we've been away from our clients for so long [...]. It took a little too long since all other businesses like physical therapists were open — especially since we don't do [anything] hand-to-hand," he said.
Emile said his main concern with reopening is that the government will decide to shut down gyms again in the next few months.
"Every time we close and reopen there's a football team of clients that rush to the gym wanting personal training," he said, describing the state of flux as difficult for new businesses.
In addition to personal training, Emile said he hopes small group classes will be allowed in Montreal soon like they are in orange zones.
Centre U Fit's clients already use a platform to reserve spots in classes and book appointments so reopening while implementing public health rules, such as keeping a log and limiting the number of people at the gym, should be a smooth transition, according to Emile.
"We've been getting messages for the past couple of weeks since we started opening the stores and our clients are like, 'Do you know when they're gonna reopen the gyms? I've been inactive for so long,'" he said.
"My clients are going to be super excited. They're going to for sure rush to the gym. And we're gonna be as happy to see them."
Gyms are posting plans on social media
Gyms across the city are posting on social media or on their websites to acknowledge the reopening.
"Finally some good news! The gov authorities have authorized the reopening of training centers as of Friday, March 26th," wrote Gym St-Henri on Facebook.
"Econofitness Members, rest assured that we will be ready to welcome you from this date in a clean, pleasant and safe environment," Econofitness posted.
Econofitness also shared a blog post on "the three golden rules of going back to the gym for a quick, safe and fun individual workout."
It says all Nautilus Plus centres located in the red zone (it provides a full list) are set to reopen as of March 26.
What going back to the gym could be like
The government stated that training in red zones will be limited to individuals, pairs or members of the same household bubble.
Since gyms are already open in orange zones, it gives us a sense of what going back to the gym will look like.
Nautilus Plus has an FAQ section on its website with the COVID-19 measures in place, including wearing masks as you enter the gym, mandatory hand washing when you enter, mandatory use of a training towel, keeping a 2-metre distance and protective plexiglass at the reception.
What's really cool is that if you're eligible for one of these courses, you might be able to get financial assistance of $500 per week through the Programme d’aide à la relance par l’augmentation de la formation (PARAF).
Among the many courses on offer, several could help you improve your skills in industries that are undergoing a "digital shift" such as retail and marketing.
Other classes will cover topics in manufacturing or labour.
"At a time when many sectors of the economy are slowing down, this training will allow people who have temporarily lost their jobs to upgrade and update their skills to keep pace with the evolution of their profession," the RCM said in a statement.
"They will thus be able to develop in their sphere of activity or a related sphere."
Classes will comprise up to 18 participants and will be conducted either online, in-person, or a combination of both.
"It is essential for us to support the college network in its efforts to deploy a training offer in line with the short-term skills required in today's job market," said Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann.
Information on classes and registration is available on the website Montez de Niveau.
At the time of publication, the province's Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) had not responded to our request for comment.
However, on November 14, Marjorie Larouche — a spokesperson for the MSSS — answered one of the two questions: gym owners can film online workouts alone in their private establishments, according to Quebec's public health decree, she said.