The Destination Employment project aims to help unemployed and underemployed newcomers secure well-paid, stable, long-term hotel jobs. Equally important is developing a sustainable, systemic model for employment programming—one that leads to economic and social benefits for newcomers and employers and increased collaboration among community-based service providers and stakeholders.
A joint initiative of Tourism HR Canada and the Hotel Association of Canada, this three-year pilot project is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and coordinated by partners in five regions across the country.
Throughout the Maritime provinces, employers and organizations have expressed strong interest in Destination Employment. As the coordinating body for the region, the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council (NSTHRC) has been actively conducting outreach to newcomer organizations and accommodation operators.
“Similar to businesses across the country, tourism operators in the Atlantic region are facing chronic shortages of labour,” says Darlene Grant Fiander, NSTHRC Executive Director. “This is affecting their ability to deliver consistent high-quality guest service and impacting business and community growth. The Destination Employment program fills a valuable need for accommodation operators in connecting them to a previously underutilized labour pool. Many of these newcomers will play an important role in positioning the industry for positive growth over the coming years.”
Key partners in the Destination Employment initiative in Atlantic Canada include:
- Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS)
- Western Regional Enterprise Network
- Valley Regional Enterprise Network
- New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training & Labour
- Multicultural Association of Fredericton (MCAF)
- PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada
To recruit potential newcomer participants, NSTHRC has been holding information sessions with settlement associations, government agencies, and Regional Enterprise Networks in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland and Labrador has an existing program underway; where appropriate, Destination Employment will be offered as an aligning support resource.
Newcomer recruitment sessions were held throughout January in collaboration with two key partners: ISANS in Halifax and MCAF in Fredericton. Over 50 enthusiastic newcomers attended the Fredericton session, seeking information about eligibility requirements, the types of positions available, the typical hours of work, and participating hotels. In February, additional newcomer outreach sessions are scheduled for Charlottetown and Moncton.
NSTHRC recently marked an exciting milestone, successfully placing its first Destination Employment employee with the Atlantica Hotel Halifax. The Atlantica has a history of hiring newcomers through the ISANS Immigrant Youth Employability Program. This successful hiring of newcomers highlights the property’s welcoming environment, employee support network, and opportunities for advancement—the key attributes Destination Employment is looking for in employers.
NSTHRC is currently exploring programming opportunities with newcomer groups to provide classroom and skills-based training in advance of hiring opportunities.
For more on opportunities to get involved with the Destination Program in Atlantic Canada, please visit tourismhrc.com.