Innovative Reskill Program to Impact Tourism Employment in Rural Communities

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.