Author: Tourism HR Canada

Emerit’s popular Train the Trainer program has been revamped, incorporating cutting-edge adult learning principles and reflecting the evolving needs of industry and workplace trainers.

The newly released suite of resources includes an Instructor Guide, Participant Manual, and PowerPoint Presentation Deck, all designed to run a two-day workshop to guide employers and supervisors through techniques and tools to train, coach, and mentor staff.

The workshop’s learning objectives are:

  • Identify learning needs and develop subsequent learning objectives
  • Learn and apply the skills associated with professionalism
  • Develop and deliver appropriate training programs applicable to various audiences (experience level, group size, capabilities)
  • Develop skills associated with being a proficient coach and mentor
  • Understand concepts paramount to effective training, such as adult learning principles
  • Become familiar with the importance of professional development as it relates to training practice
  • Understand and implement assessment and evaluation methods

The Instructor Guide outlines the delivery of the Train the Trainer workshop and includes:

  • Key terms to identify special items or topics of interest integral to various points of the workshop or program
  • A section outlining the content and activities that will make up the bulk of the program
  • A section for notes

The PowerPoint Presentation Deck complements the Instructor Guide, and a Train the Trainer Participant Manual allows workshop participants to follow along with the content material and complete exercises, as well as have a reference document to take back to their establishment.

As training is ever-important in almost all industries and occupations, this program is meant to be applicable for a variety of training environments—while developed to reflect the specific needs of the Canadian tourism sector, the workshop is adaptable to other industries.

To access these resources or to learn more about offering the Train the Trainer workshop in your region, please visit

On June 20, the Government of Canada announced the launch of an innovative three-year pilot program that will see nearly $7 million dedicated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to connect newcomers to Canada with jobs in the hotel industry in five regions across the country.

Tourism HR Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) are proud to be partnering on this initiative, which will build on the contributions this growing demographic has provided Canada’s rapidly expanding tourism sector.

Immigrants account for 22% of Canada’s population, and as the birth rate remains below that needed to replace our existing population, they will be vital for the continued growth of the country and the economy. In 2014-15, they accounted for 60.8% of Canada’s population growth; Statistics Canada estimates that by 2031 they will account for more than 80.0% of population growth.

Newcomers bring a wide variety of skills and experience to their new roles, and in a sector as global as tourism, their cultural and language skills are a competitive advantage—making it easier to communicate with international visitors and offer products and services specially designed to make them feel welcome.

Tourism HR Canada has just released a full profile of immigrant workers in Canada’s tourism sector, based on the most recent census data. Here are some highlights:

  • In 2016, 26.0% of the tourism workforce were immigrants, up from 23.9% in 2011. For comparison, the number of immigrant workers in Canada’s total workforce was 23.8% in 2016.
  • As a percentage of its labour force, the travel services industry employs the largest share of immigrant workers (35.3%), followed by accommodations (31.7%) and transportation (31.1%).
  • Specific occupations where immigrants make up a high percentage of the workforce are taxi and limousine driver (69.9%) and chefs (51.6%).
  • By region, immigrants filled the greatest share of tourism jobs in British Columbia, at 31.5%, followed by Alberta (30.7%) and Ontario (29.8%).
  • Since 2011, the percentage of tourism jobs filled by immigrants has grown in all provinces. The greatest growth was seen in Saskatchewan, where immigrants went from filling 13.1% of tourism jobs in 2011 to 23.5% in 2016.
  • Most immigrants (37.6%) who are working in tourism have been here for over two decades, having arrived before 1996.

Download the full profile, including infographics, on

When civility in general society begins to take a backseat to reason, respect and open discourse, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the workplace also reflects this disruptive trend. One would think civility would be commonplace, especially with respect to the “golden rule” which suggests treating all others the way you wish to be treated. That said, five minutes of news coverage or a couple of clicks on social media platforms will quickly dispel the notion that acting in a civil manner is commonplace and the standard by which humans interact with one another.

While society needs to address the more macro issue of civility in general, employers need to create their own bastion of civility, inclusion and respect to ensure their workplace is not exacerbating or following the negative behaviour we see permeating many aspects of daily life. Employers have control in shaping behaviour and discourse in the workplace since they set the standard and apply the rules. Shaping behaviour at the societal level is a much heavier lift.

Here are ten practices for developing employee awareness of respectful behaviour and the related required skills:

  1. Before acting, consider the impact of your words and actions on others.
  2. Create an inclusive work environment. Only by recognizing and respecting individual differences and qualities can your organization fully realize its potential.
  3. Self-monitor the respect that you display in all areas of your communications, including verbal, body language, and listening.
  4. Understand your triggers or “hot buttons.” Knowing what makes you angry and frustrated enables you to manage your reactions and respond in a more appropriate manner.
  5. Take responsibility for your actions and practice self-restraint and anger management skills in responding to potential conflicts.
  6. Adopt a positive and solution-driven approach in resolving conflicts.
  7. Rely on facts rather than assumptions. Gather relevant facts, especially before acting on assumptions that can damage relationships.
  8. Include others in your focus by considering their needs and avoiding the perception that you view yourself as the “centre of the universe”.
  9. View today’s difficult situations from a broader (big picture) and more realistic perspective by considering what they mean in the overall scheme of things.
  10. “Each one influence one” by becoming a bridge builder and role model for civility and respect. Act in a manner whereby you respect yourself, demonstrate respect for others, and take advantage of every opportunity to be proactive in promoting civility and respect in your workplace.

(SOURCE: Barbara Richman of HR Mpact)

While these are all good and relevant practices to incorporate in your work life (and private life), there also needs to be a commitment from the employer that a certain level of civility and personal responsibility is standardized in training materials, throughout employee handbooks and at staff meetings. To ensure the “standard for civility” in your workplace is adopted and embraced, there needs to be a firm and visible commitment from management to practice what they preach.

In 2017, Tourism HR Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Civility Experts to formalize a working relationship and mutual goals towards the development of international competency standards for Civility Practitioners. Under the agreement, both parties will seek funding or third-party sponsorship to move the initiative forward. Tourism HR Canada will include civility standards and practices in updates to occupational and competency standards as well as any training materials developed under the Emerit Tourism Training brand. Planned updates already include increased focus on cultural competencies, and the inclusion of civility practices will add greatly to these enhancements.

 Workplaces that allow uncivil behaviour to go unchecked will almost always be impacted negatively as they are likely not meeting the expectations of customers and are also enabling an atmosphere that contributes to employee illnesses, anxiety, depression and ultimately absenteeism. At a time when tourism employers are desperate to attract more people to work and build a career in the sector, the need to have a welcoming and inclusive workplace has never been more important.

Stay tuned for future developments and projects related to civil behaviour in the workplace.

Employing Newcomers in Canadian Hotels Pilot ProjectTourism HR Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) applaud the federal government for launching the Employing Newcomers in Canadian Hotels Pilot Project. This three-year pilot program will see nearly $7 million dedicated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to connect newcomers to Canada with jobs in the hotel industry in five regions across the country.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, announced the initiative on World Refugee Day, June 20.

Attendees included members of the Tourism HR Canada Board of Directors, in Ottawa for their June meeting, as well as staff from the event’s host hotel, the Westin Ottawa. The Westin Ottawa cook Tao Huynh was profiled, as she arrived in Canada as a refugee from Vietnam in the 1970s, and has built a successful career at the Westin while raising a family of four children, now adults with their own careers.

“We are delighted to partner with the Government of Canada and Tourism HR Canada on this exciting program that will help people new to Canada join our industry,” said Susie Grynol, President of the HAC. “This is a win-win for newcomers and hoteliers. Those employed through the program will have an opportunity to obtain work experience that will help them develop critical skills as well as room to grow, while Canadian hotels can address job vacancies.”

This pilot program is one of the first through IRCC’s $32 million dedicated funding stream for service delivery improvements and innovations made under the government’s settlement program. This initiative will assist up to 1,300 unemployed or underemployed newcomers to secure a range of hotel jobs, including both entry level and management positions.

Tourism HR Canada President Philip Mondor sees this initiative as the right fit at the right time. “The innovative model we’ll be deploying for this initiative targets key challenges faced by both employers and new employees. A common challenge often referenced by employers is that newcomers often do not possess the language skill level necessary to properly engage in the training and other onboarding activities they will be subject to. This project addresses that issue head-on: providing contextualized language skill training is a core component of the model being implemented,” states Mondor.

More than 10% of tourism jobs go unfilled because of labour market issues. Projections show that demand for workers will exceed supply for the majority of occupations in the accommodations industry, from frontline positions to supervisors and managers. The tourism industry is a powerful economic driver across Canada, representing $41.2 billion of Canada’s GDP in 2017. This new program will help to rebuild lost economic opportunity from unfilled jobs.

“The advantage of working in hotels is more than just the simple fact that jobs are available. Hotel jobs are a springboard to build a lifelong and fulfilling career,” concluded Grynol. “Hotels offer a variety of positions, strong upward mobility, training, and investment in employees. When you work in a hotel you quickly improve language and customer service skills and learn cultural nuances. There is no better place to cultivate these skills than working in a hotel environment.”

For highlights of the project announcement, watch this video.

Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association Welcomes 2018 Leadership AwardOn June 19, Tourism HR Canada Vice-President, Labour Market Intelligence, Calum MacDonald was honoured to present the Banff & Lake Louise Hotel Association (BLLHA) with the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Advancing Progressive HR Practices Award.

Accepting the award on behalf of the association were Trevor Long, President; Darren Reeder, Executive Director; and Brenda Stanton, Manager, Research, Communications & Member Engagement. The event took place at the BLLHA’s Board of Directors and (appropriately) HR meetings, held at the Moose Hotel in Banff, Alberta.

The award is presented annually to individuals, organizations and employers with more than a decade of leadership in advancing human resource management practices that foster authentic, quality service and contributing to Canada’s ability to compete globally.

The BLLHA is an industry advocate in one of Canada’s premier destinations. It works tirelessly to strengthen and grow the tourism offering in the region, including a focus on attracting and retaining top talent. The organization is a leader in tracking regional labour market data, information which helps it develop initiatives that best meet the needs of local businesses. Recent examples include a workforce development bursary program, a training partnership with Royal Roads University, and the building of links with Indigenous partners.

“The Banff & Lake Louise Hospitality Association is truly honoured to receive the award for Outstanding Contribution to Advancing Progressive HR Practices,” stated Trevor Long. “We have been blessed by the strong and ongoing support of our partners to explore new and innovative approaches to address our destination’s labour force needs. While some of our labour force recruitment and retention efforts have proven more successful than others, we are reminded that it is the sustained commitment to ‘reach further’ that matters.”

Read more on BLLHA’s achievements in the original announcement of his award.

Jesse Tiefenbach of d3h Hotels Receives Distinguished HR Service AwardOn June 13, Tourism HR Canada President Philip Mondor was delighted to present Jesse Tiefenbach with the 2018 Distinguished HR Service Award. The presentation took place at the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC)’s annual Leadership Conference and Recognition Dinner, held at the DoubleTree in Regina.

The award is presented annually to individuals or groups that demonstrate leadership in advancing human resource management practices that contribute to economic and social benefits for workers and the Canadian tourism sector.

As Chief Human Resource Officer for d3h Hotels, Jesse leads the team in supporting its 300-plus employees across 14 hotels in Saskatchewan and Alberta. He is a strong believer in training, apprenticeship, and certification, as well as staff recognition and incentive programs.

His use of innovative HR management practices has resulted in several other accolades: d3h has earned the STEC Employer of Choice designation, with at least one property achieving the title since the program’s inception in 2010, while Jesse himself was named one of Canadian Traveller’s Top 40 Under 40 this year.

“It is truly a privilege to have been chosen for the Distinguished HR Service Award,” said Jesse. “We certainly work hard as a business to ensure we are doing everything that we can for our amazing people. I’ve worked with d3h for 11 years and I’ve always understood how critical a well-functioning and forward-thinking HR department truly is. As a company, we understand that it is our people who take care of the guests we serve on a daily basis. As such, we do our best to ensure we take care of our people. We celebrate our 20th year in business in 2018; this methodology is time tested and has been incredibly successful for us.”

Read more on Jesse’s achievements in the original announcement of his award.

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Fresh on the heels of the revamped Food Service Counter Attendant and Kitchen Helper releases, Emerit is launching the following resources and programming for Line Cook:

As with any Emerit product, thorough industry consultation ensures each of these reflects the real-world knowledge and skills needed by today’s kitchen professionals.

The standards, workbook, and online learning will help trainees, job seekers, and students acquire transferable and occupation-specific skills. They cover professionalism, safety and sanitation, kitchen operations, and preparation and cooking.

The materials are flexible: learners can choose to study on their own or with the guidance of a supervisor or instructor, whether at work, in class, at home, or on the go.

Workplace trainers, employers, and educators can pair these resources with the Job Coach to build and implement training or curriculum resources that will accommodate individual learning styles and preferences.

The nationally recognized Line Cook professional certification program grants a Tourism Certified Professional (TCP) designation to those who pass the online exam and can provide evidence of having the requisite workplace experience. Exam questions are based on the National Occupational Standards; a copy is included with the Certification Prep Pack. The workbook and online course can help learners more fully prepare, if required.

For complete details and to access any of these resources, in English and French, visit the Emerit storefront.

To stay up to date on all Emerit product releases, subscribe to our newsletter.

A streamlined, mobile-responsive website now showcases Tourism HR Canada’s key information and resources.

Launched this week, the revamped continues to feature the latest labour market intelligence, program information, and HR tools.

A reorganized structure makes it simple to find relevant information, while links to our newsletter and social media and a contact form ensure it’s easy to connect with us.

Interactive maps and charts add new options for engaging with our research.

Newly merged into the site is Discover Tourism: career awareness resources to help students, teachers, parents, job seekers, and guidance and career counsellors explore the multitude of pathways available in tourism.

The content will continue to undergo a refresh, so be sure to check back for newly released labour market data highlights, details on upcoming initiatives and partnerships, and our new strategic plan for 2019-2022—and be sure to subscribe to Tourism HR Insider to be the first to hear!

(seasonally unadjusted)

In May 2018, the unemployment rate1 in the tourism sector was at 4.5%, which is 1.0 percentage point lower than the rate reported in May 2017, and lower than the previous month (April 2018) when the unemployment rate stood at 5.1%.

At 4.5%, tourism’s unemployment rate was well below Canada’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.9%.

With the exception of Accommodations and Travel Services, all tourism industry groups reported lower unemployment rates than the same month last year (Table 1).

On a provincial basis, tourism unemployment rates ranged from 2.0% in New Brunswick to 11.7% in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for tourism in each province were below the rates reported for the provincial economy (Figure 1).

Tourism employment comprised 11.5% of the total Canadian labour force for the month of May.

Table 1 – Employment Rate by Tourism Industry Group – May 2017/2018
Tourism Industry Group2 Unemployment Rate –
May 2017
Unemployment Rate –
May 2018
Tourism 5.5% 4.5%
Accommodations 5.7% 6.5%
Food and Beverage 5.8% 4.8%
Recreation and Entertainment 7.6% 5.2%
Transportation 2.3% 2.2%
Travel Services 3.7% N/A%
Figure 1 – Tourism Sector vs. Total Labour Force Unemployment Rates by Province (Seasonally Unadjusted)

1 To determine unemployment rates, industrial (NAICS) classifications are based on the most recent job held within the past year, and are self-identified by the respondent. Unemployed persons are those who, during the reference period, were available for work but were on temporary layoff, were without work, or were to start a new job within four weeks.

2 As defined by the Canadian Tourism Satellite Account. The NAICS industries included in the tourism sector are those that would cease to exist or operate at a significantly reduced level of activity as a direct result of an absence of tourism. Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, customized tabulations. Based on data for the week ending May 19, 2018.


June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day across Canada—a day to showcase and celebrate the cultural diversity, accomplishments, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

Indigenous tourism in Canada is thriving, as entrepreneurs and established businesses are reaching new markets and seeing increased demand from established ones. The Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) has set the following targets leading up to 2021: a $300 million increase in the annual Canadian GDP from Indigenous tourism and 50 new Indigenous tourism operators at export-ready status.

Indigenous workers are a particularly important part of tourism’s labour force—from frontline staff to owner/operators to entrepreneurs. Tourism HR Canada will soon release a full profile of Indigenous workers in Canada’s tourism sector, based on the most recent census data. In honour of next week’s celebration, here’s a sneak preview.

  • In 2011, there were 57,680 Indigenous workers in tourism. By 2016, that number had grown 30.2% to over 75,000 individuals. For comparison, the number of Indigenous workers across all sectors in Canada grew just 21.5% over the same time frame, highlighting the key role Indigenous peoples are playing in tourism’s growth.
  • As a percentage of its labour force, accommodations employs the largest share of Indigenous workers (5.6%), followed by recreation and entertainment (4.2%) and food and beverage services (4.1%).
  • Specific occupations where Indigenous peoples make up a high percentage of the workforce are outdoor sport and recreation guides (9.5%) and casino occupations (8.3%).
  • By region, Ontario has the largest number of Indigenous workers in tourism, with 19,485 individuals in tourism careers, but it also has the largest number of workers in tourism overall.
  • As a percentage of the total workforce, Saskatchewan has the largest Indigenous workforce of the provinces, at 13.1%. The three territories exceed this: Yukon’s share is 13.2%, Northwest Territories’ is 29.2%, and Nunavut’s is significantly more, at 69.8%.
  • Since 2011, Indigenous peoples have increased their representation within the tourism labour force in every province.
  • A greater percentage of Indigenous tourism workers are female than in the total tourism workforce: 57.5% compared to 51.1%.
  • Indigenous youth between the ages of 15 and 24 make up 38.4% of tourism workers, compared to 30.3% for non-Indigenous youth.

The increase in Indigenous individuals working in tourism is impressive, however Indigenous peoples are still underrepresented in the labour market: they make up 4.8% of Canada’s population, but just 4.1% of the tourism labour market. While this is more than the 3.7% in the labour market as a whole, industry associations, businesses, academia, and government need to develop comprehensive strategies to increase workforce participation by Indigenous workers in Canada’s tourism sector. With global interest in Indigenous cultures growing, now is the perfect time to invest in the unique experiences and perspectives offered by Indigenous individuals across Canada.

Watch for the full profile, including infographics and details of current and planned workforce strategies, on

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