Tourism Labour Action Plan for 2018: Action 4

Develop more strategies to inform policy and programs aimed at helping the sector address labour market shortages.

The success of the industry is contingent on addressing longstanding labour and skills issues.

Tourism, like many other industries, is finding it increasingly difficult to find and retain qualified workers, and the challenge extends beyond Canada. Despite record numbers of visitors, tourism's growth will be increasingly hampered if the sector lacks the skilled individuals capable of offering the transformative experiences today’s tourists seek.

A targeted skills and workforce development strategy is crucial. Businesses, organizations, governments, and the education sector need improved workforce planning strategies, along with the resources, appropriate support mechanisms, and capacity to implement them.

The Forum identified the need for further strategies to address the chronic shortage of workers and preparing for even greater shortages over the next decade.

A sense of urgency fueled views that the industry had to continue to be proactive and increase the engagement of people who have not traditionally been engaged or employed.

The discussions built on the five outcomes or recommendations from the previous Labour Market Forum:

  • Improved investments by governments and employers: investments need to go beyond infrastructure and marketing. Funds towards workforce planning, detailed studies, and coordination should be a priority.
  • Boost productivity: increased incentives and smart funding to enable employers to invest in training and skills development and improved human capital practices.
  • Increase heterogeneity/further diversify the workforce: increase participation of under-represented groups—in particular, Indigenous peoples, refugees, and immigrants.
  • Increase immigration and improve mobility: favourable immigration policies that support the talent supply required by tourism; increased flexibility and improved efficiency.
  • Transform education and training: programs better fit to employment needs; more responsive to demand; broad-based skills development; product development and managerial skills development.

Look for further actions as we continue to engage with tourism stakeholders across the country and proceed with our labour market initiatives.