Month: January 2019

Happy new year and greetings as we begin 2019. This is a year to celebrate many successes and to look forward to growth and further important changes. 

For Tourism HR Canada, 2018 was a year of tremendous progress and increased organizational strength. We celebrated our 25th anniversary and wrapped up the Strategic Plan that was introduced three years ago—one that focused on organizational stability, increased flexibility and responsiveness, secured government funding, further diversified revenue strategies, invested in our people, and reinvented solutions to enable us to deliver on our mandate.

It’s been a busy three years that paid off: we achieved nearly all our priorities and further established ourselves as essential to meeting the needs of our stakeholders. Of note was the securing of federal funds for two of our signature projects: Destination Employment and the Future Skills Framework. We also gained the opportunity to work for several new clients, whose projects are essential to shaping the future of their industries. We were very active at the national level on various policy fronts with immigration, labour, tourism research, and transportation. Our Board elected a new Chairperson and sanctioned a new three-year strategic plan.

And so we welcome in the new year with the launch of our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan.

This key publication details how Tourism HR Canada will continue to focus on building a resilient and innovative tourism labour market. It maps out how we will make progress on five strategic priorities, all aimed at addressing two fundamental concerns: filling 100,000s of job vacancies and increasing skills and capacity to ensure individuals and businesses can thrive.

Based on extensive consultation with tourism stakeholders and in response to the Government of Canada’s goal to significantly increase international visitation, these priorities are:

  1. Leading comprehensive labour market research and analysis
  2. Forecasting future skills to foster growth and innovation
  3. Positioning tourism as a destination for employment
  4. Innovating skills development to optimize the workforce
  5. Making strategic investments to ensure organizational strength

Looking forward, we will continue to increase our flexibility and responsiveness, further diversify our strategies, and invest in our people.

As our new strategic plan notes: “Tourism HR Canada has a stronger, more cohesive, and more proactive voice in national public policy. The past few years have also focused on innovation and transformation to ensure the organization can better demonstrate impact, remain financially stable, and offer more customized services.”

This is a vibrant organization with an important mandate. Thank you for sharing in and supporting our work. We anticipate another successful year ahead, and our team looks forward to accomplishing it with the same enthusiasm and commitment.

I encourage you to review the new strategic plan, as it will shape the years to come.

With very best wishes,

Philip Signature

Philip Mondor
President and CEO, Tourism HR Canada

Reskill Project Logo

On December 4th, 2018, Tourism HR Canada and Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL) led a one-day consultation event in Port aux Basques, NL. This meeting was part of HNL’s three-year Reskill project, which seeks to reskill non-tourism sector workers for jobs in the industry. It is an innovative approach to employing individuals in rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, building the capacity of existing tourism operators, and creating solutions for tourism labour market shortages.

The Reskill project will reach, engage, empower, and support unemployed individuals facing barriers to employment. Individuals pursuing work in the tourism industry will have access to professional training opportunities, self-directed learning, and on-the-job development with tourism operators in a safe, flexible, and supportive space. Project coordinators will encourage them as they explore their livelihood potential in rural communities in the province.

The meeting was a community needs assessment aimed at identifying the training required for frontline employees, supervisors, managers, and tourism operators. Participants discussed which skills will allow the local tourism sector to thrive, examining:

  • transferrable skills, such as numeracy and communication
  • attitudes, such as adaptability and willingness to learn
  • technological skills
  • business management skills
  • entrepreneurial skills
  • cultural intelligence
  • tourism-specific skills and knowledge
  • sustainable practices

In addition to specific training needs, the meeting gathered information on:

  • the current state of the tourism industry
  • current resources for unemployed and underemployed workers
  • challenges that could affect the program
  • the impact of seasonality

The meeting was attended by representatives from the tourism industry, community leaders, training providers, employment service providers, and representatives from the neighbouring community of Isle aux Morts. Tourism HR Canada and HNL wish to thank all attendees who gave their time and energy to provide important information that will be used to move this project forward.

The Reskill project is supported by the NL Workforce Innovation Centre’s (WIC) Research and Innovation Program. The project is funded by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement.

Thinking about the future of work, particularly the fragility of many jobs and professions as they are usurped by technology and automation, can be a sobering exercise. While technological advances continue to make our lives easier and more convenient, the often-unintended consequences of these innovations continue to mount, marginalizing work done by humans.

While this reality impacts all sectors of the Canadian economy, the good news is many tourism and hospitality positions have not been greatly affected by these advances and the pace at which these jobs are being lost to automation and technology is slower than in other sectors of the economy.

We all know the speed of change has increased exponentially since carts and horses were replaced by cars and trucks. There once was time to see what new jobs would be created due to advancements in technology, but no longer—it is happening too quickly. And in many instances where automation or technology rendered jobs and even entire industries redundant or uncompetitive, there remained a need for humans to perform important roles within the changed environment…but this, too, is becoming less and less the norm.

For tourism, there is an opportunity here: employers can improve the quality of service and attentiveness to guest needs and further showcase the value of the human connection to the client experience. Tourism operations can embrace advancements that may help alleviate the physical demands of some jobs and help ensure increased workplace safety, while also demonstrating the value-add of personalized service that can only be accomplished through human interaction.

Over the course of 2019, Tourism HR Insider will be highlighting ways our sector can excel because of the human element. These short articles will provide useful and easy-to-implement tactics to tie the client service experience to the human experience through real-world examples and suggestions from HR experts. Stay tuned!