The Canadian tourism sector remains in a critical state. More than 18 months into the pandemic, the industry still has not recovered; international tourists are trickling in, labour challenges remain high, and various regions have experienced rolling lockdowns. The once rapidly expanding sector is now struggling to attract early talent.
To encourage more people to enter the sector, Tourism HR Canada launched Propel—a federally funded student work placement program offering paid work-integrated learning opportunities. The program offers Canadian tourism employers a wage subsidy of up to 75 percent of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500. Propel offers employers in one of the hardest-hit sectors a chance to rebuild their workforce lost during the pandemic.
Reimbursement for 2021 Summer Students
Organizations that supported summer students on work-integrated learning placements this year can receive retroactive reimbursement. Please check out the link below to apply retroactively for summer students’ wages from June 1 onwards.
Recognizing the Labour Challenges
The tourism sector has been challenged by the current labour shortages; September 2021 had about 300,000 fewer workers in the sector than in the same month in 2019 according to Stats Canada’s Labour Force Survey. There are more than 130,000 unfilled accommodations and food services jobs across the country. Tourism HR Canada believes that Propel can help close this gap.
How It Works
The program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Student Work Placement Program. Propel offers registered Canadian businesses, startups, and not-for-profits related to the tourism and hospitality sector a wage subsidy of up to 75 percent of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500. Students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution can apply for a paid position to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program. Employers can also apply retroactively for qualifying students’ wages that were paid any time after June 1, 2021.
The position must be a work-integrated learning opportunity for a post-secondary student but can be accessed by any businesses in the tourism sector: accommodations, food and beverage services, recreation and entertainment, transportation, and travel services. This includes positions related to events, concerts, meetings and conventions, museums, galleries, cultural and heritage sites, destination marketing, and more.
Propel offers post-secondary students opportunities to develop the work-ready skills required to secure meaningful employment upon graduation. Qualifying employers are provided with a wage subsidy of up to $7,500 for each student hired through the program.
Importance of the Program
The program ensures that students gain paid hands-on learning and mentoring in their field of study. Employers acquire much-needed early talent to help with the recovery of the industry, as well as assistance with wages after an 18-month stretch of little or no income. Post-secondary institutions complement their programs by connecting students and the workplace.
Additional Information and Online Application
For more information on the Propel program, and to apply, please visit PropelCareers.ca, and be sure to join our virtual information session on November 4th at 1:00 PM Eastern Time by registering here.