By Joe Baker, Tourism HR Canada Board Member and OTEC Strategic Advisor
People have always been the core of Canada’s hospitality and tourism industry. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating economic effect on our businesses, it has had an equally profound impact on the lives of the people of our industry – our workforce. Here are three digital destinations that have come alive to support workers and the workforce itself.
Summary: The Tourism and Hospitality Emergency Response (THER) is a job recovery initiative led by the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) and funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and the Government of Ontario.
Features: This site is full of resources for affected workers from across all Provinces and Territories. It features the ability for workers to join a registry that gives them access to regular updates, a community of like-minded people and ultimately referrals into local employment service providers where they have the potential to access training and job portals. It also features a short survey that will ensure the resources and tools are designed to meet the needs of affected workers.
Summary: Tourism HR Canada’s Tourism Workforce Recovery Toolkit is a practical, no-cost web program designed to help tourism operators succeed during this unprecedented crisis – now and into the future. Drawing from a myriad of public-domain, academic and business resources, this Toolkit – which includes presentations, checklists and downloadable content – will be frequently updated to support tourism operators at every stage of their journey.
Features: This toolkit includes five content modules, more than 60 resource components and more than 30 practical checklists. While this site is targeted at tourism business operators, its distinct workforce focus makes it a rich source of information and learning potential for hospitality workers. Of note, Tourism HR Canada hosts regular free webinars, some which can be found on this site, and are a wealth of current information and tools.
Summary: Not 9 to 5 is a new not-for-profit organization brought to life by hospitality and tourism industry leaders to help address high rates of mental health challenges and substance use across Canada’s hospitality and tourism industry. Research shows that mental health education and training can save lives, and so this group has launched CNECTing, a platform to distribute educational courses and bring the hospitality, food and beverage community together to address this emergency. CNECTing stands for Change Needs Everyone Coming Together.
Features: The site is full of mental health resources, previously recorded live events discussing mental health, and their first course called Primary Concerns. This course is focused on the industry’s mental health primary concerns and will educate and train it’s learners in mental health and substance use support skills to identify, understand and respond to crisis situations.
If you are a business operator and can share these resources with any workers affected by the pandemic, please distribute widely. And if you yourself are someone who has been laid-off or let-go by your employer as a result of the pandemic, take as much time as you need and take as much learning as you can from these thoughtfully curated hubs of content designed just for you.
Joe Baker is an innovative leader of Canadian hospitality and tourism education and workforce development. He is President of Joe Baker Consulting Inc., a full-service tourism industry consultancy focused on strategy, coaching, training and talent. Joe can be found everywhere @thejoebaker.