The government of Canada has just launched a 3-year pilot project to help newcomers find work in Canadian hotels. Good news for the tourist industry, in dire need of manpower.
The tourism industry provides work for 1.7 million people from coast to coast, according to data collected in 2016 by Tourism HR Canada, and this number is increasing rapidly in this growing industry. Hotels, at the front line of the industry, therefore have to redouble their efforts to unearth an energetic and skilled workforce. More than 10% of jobs in the tourism sector remain unfilled.
The pilot project developed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will match newcomers to Canada with jobs in the hotel industry in 5 of the country’s regions – except Quebec, which has its own employment integration program. Refugees and other newcomers will be able to work in southern Ontario, in the Saskatoon/Regina regions, in the Banff/Lake Louise/southern Alberta regions and in the Yukon.
“It’s a situation where everyone wins,” explains Susie Grynol, president of the Hotel Association of Canada, by way of a press release. “People who find a job under the program will have the opportunity to gain work experience that will help them develop their essential skills and get promotions, while Canadian hotels can fill vacant jobs.”
And there are vacant positions for every profile! 1,300 jobs will be offered initially – positions for beginners as well as positions for senior management. However, it is not always easy to fill the positions by hiring immigrants, given the lack of resources in the hotel sector to support these immigrant workers in their language learning. The pilot project, with a $7 million budget, aims to solve this problem by providing training in context-based language skills.
“When you work in a hotel, you master the language quickly, you improve your customer service skills and you get to know the cultural nuances. There is no better place to acquire these skill than working in a hotel environment,” concludes Susie Grynol.
In 2017, a record number of 20.8 million tourists visited Canada, and one job in ten were associated with the tourist industry.