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City of Talent Montreal

An Action Plan for Boosting Employment, Innovation and Skills

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Montreal has huge potential to become one of the most dynamic cities across OECD countries, thanks to its talented and creative population. Yet the city has not demonstrated outstanding results in terms of job creation and collective wealth generation in the past few years. This report examines this paradox and suggests new strategies to improve local outcomes in terms of employment, innovation and skills, and to boost inclusive economic growth and innovation across the Quebec metropolis.

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A new strategy is required to address Montreal's challenges

Montreal is a vast metropolitan region which, in 2014, had a population of just over 4 million. The city possesses a wealth of assets that could transform it into an innovative and economically dynamic metropolis both in North America and within the OECD. These include a huge potential reservoir of talent, whether among the local populace, educated in Montreal’s top quality further education institutions, or among the many qualified immigrants who are attracted to the city each year. This is a crucial source of development in the current economic climate characterised by the growing importance given to innovative activities, both technological and non-technological, which demand a high level of skills. The relative dynamism of Montreal’s population, due largely to international immigration, means that employers can rely on an abundant workforce. The economic fabric of Montreal is diversified, as evidenced by the presence of both highly structured industrial clusters in high added value sectors and a fertile ecosystem of entrepreneurs and SMEs in emerging sectors such as health, information and communication technologies, including video games, but also in the social and collaborative economy.

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