Annual Labour Market Forum: Elevating Discussions on Urgent Labour Market Issues

This March, Tourism HR Canada will host tourism and hospitality stakeholders from across Canada, seeking their input, ideas and strategic advice on current and emerging labour market issues. Made possible by funding from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), associations, employers, academia, and government representatives will have frank discussions on urgent labour market issues and recommend actions to address the issues.

Discussion will centre on:

  • Optimizing immigrant pathways: temporary foreign worker program; increasing participation of newcomers, refugees, and international students
  • Exploring seasonal work and regional workforce development plans
  • Overcoming cringe-worthy media that contributes to a poor image of the sector, to showcase meaningful jobs and tourism’s contribution to Canada’s social well-being
  • Responding to Canada’s tourism vision by mitigating skills gaps and the shortfall of labour
  • Building strategies to integrate globalization, diversity, and technology

The collective input of will lead to recommendations on HR strategies and solutions that can be applied industry-wide. Key directions from the first Forum include:

  1. Improve investments by government and employers: go beyond infrastructure and marketing, towards workforce planning, detailed studies, and coordination.
  2. Boost productivity: increase incentives and smart funding to enable employers to invest in training, skills development, and improved human capital practices.
  3. Further diversify the tourism workforce: increase the participation of under-represented groups—in particular, Indigenous peoples, refugees, and immigrants.
  4. Increase immigration and improve mobility: foster favourable immigration policies that support the talent supply required by tourism; increase flexibility and improve efficiency.
  5. Transform education and training programs: ensure programs are a better fit to employment needs, are more responsive to demand, and develop broad-based skills as well as product development and managerial skills.

With pan-Canadian representation from accommodations, food and beverage, travel services, transportation, and recreation and entertainment, the session will highlight both the differences and commonalities stakeholders face in sustaining Canada as a world class tourism destination, leading to a cohesive, encompassing set of priorities and messaging. The diversity of the attendees’ experience and expertise in the tourism and hospitality industry and with its labour market will be invaluable to the event’s success. This year’s outcomes will feature in a later edition of Tourism HR Insider.