Now into its second year, the Destination Employment program continues to connect unemployed or underemployed newcomers to Canada and hotels suffering from chronic labour shortages. Offered in five regions across the country, solid partnerships are ensuring the successful training and transition of newcomers into supportive workplaces.
Delivery partners in Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada have all engaged with prospective employers. Each one has conducted significant outreach, conducting meetings and presentations throughout their region. A total of nineteen employers were signed onto Destination Employment in just three months.
As the program becomes more established, the number of newcomers employed across the regions is quickly escalating. Cohorts in each region have now completed extensive training, including occupational skills and language, and are now securing work in accommodations across each region.
In the past few months, JW Marriott hired nine program participants to join its new operations opening in Alberta this summer. Two employers in the Greater Toronto Area have employed graduates of the Destination Employment program. In Guelph, a large portion of the May cohort came from Eritrea. All were employed by one hotel, who gave remarkable compliments about being pleased with the hires. The hotel expressed its desire to engage more people from Eritrea; they have now been connected to the Eritrean community in Guelph, leading to a new pool of job seekers available to fill other positions in their organisation. The employer also hired a family member of one of the participants.
Additionally, partners are developing specialized training resources to help both newcomers and employers. The Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and its partner Olds College have now completed the translation of 35 training videos into Tagalog, French, and Arabic. These videos introduce the hotel industry in Canada and give opportunities for additional training post-program.
A key communication element of the program has been showcasing the successes of participating hoteliers and newcomers. Building on inspiring video testimonials from Nova Scotia and Ontario, Destination Employment partner the Hotel Association of Canada has secured a partnership with New Canadians TV (on OMNI channel) to produce a special TV episode and online series solely for Destination Employment. The episode and series will feature the employment opportunities the program offers to newcomers and highlight different successful deployment of program assets.
Destination Employment will be offering upcoming intakes into programs in its five delivery regions. If you are a newcomer or an accommodations industry employer who wishes to participate, learn more about the eligibility requirements and the five regional delivery partners here.