Help Rebuild the Tourism Workforce: Join a New Working Group

The tourism industry is facing an unprecedented shortfall of workers and major structural challenges impacting its workforce. The labour shortage is expected to be long-lasting—it may be a decade or more before the industry reaches pre-pandemic employment levels.

In response, Tourism HR Canada has initiated a three-year project funded by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to tackle Canada’s tourism workforce recovery and to restart tourism by securing a skilled, diverse, and resilient workforce.

We are calling on you—tourism industry leaders, business owners, workers, educators, and students—to assist in providing information, ideas, and advice for this workforce recovery project through several new Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups.

Beyond dealing with the immediate crisis, Tourism HR Canada wants to prepare our industry for the future. As a progressive stakeholder in the tourism sector, this is an opportunity to lend your expertise, opinions, and support to an integral initiative to expedite recovery and build a more resilient industry. Furthermore, this project aims to align activities and outcomes to meet some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What Is the Aim of the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups?

Led by Tourism HR Canada, the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups’ overall aim is to support the project team by providing recommendations to align the project with the realities experienced by the sector and by sharing a wide range of ideas to ensure the representation of diverse tourism stakeholders from across Canada.

How Will Working Group Members Contribute?

We are striking these strategic working groups to assist us with several facets of the work being conducted over the next three years. We’re seeking participants who can provide insights and advice on the resources we will be developing—this could include guiding the direction of the resources, pilot-testing them once developed, and validating them for use across Canada.

Specifically, we are seeking Working Group members for the following initiatives:

  • eLearning and microlearning courses for entry-to-practice and other core skill-specific learning to better prepare the workforce as the industry emerges from the impact of the pandemic and looks to once again be one of the fastest growing industries (as it was pre-COVID). These resources will be part of our Emerit product offering as we focus on building and updating products to better serve the sector’s labour needs.
  • A new micro-credentialling model and related resources (training and assessment) for high-demand skills areas that further promote improved diversity, inclusion, and anti-oppressive practices and for skills areas that have high transferability/marketability in the labour market. This focus on retooling skills is in direct response to the pandemic, with the aim of accelerating the recovery of the tourism workforce.
  • Development/update of four Emerit Professional Certification programs for management and executive roles.
  • Suite of new online, customizable workforce management tools for employers and intermediaries (e.g., career development practitioners, educators) to foster stronger attachments to the workforce for both job seekers and workers.
  • Enhancements and new competencies for the Emerit Workforce Management Engine (WME), an online platform that enables users to access, and use, the tourism competency framework (developed as the Future Skills Framework). It provides National Occupational Standards validated by industry, and users can build their own job descriptions and skills checklists to aid their work and identify skills gaps.
  • A secure, stable, and adaptive learning management infrastructure to support post-pandemic priorities and enable the organization to adapt, evolve, and execute a digital strategy to help businesses address essential workforce needs.

What Commitment Is Required?

Involvement in any Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Group is voluntary and flexible. Activities may include pilot-testing learning tools, ratifying or reviewing provided information, and attendance in working sessions/meetings throughout the three-year project.

Learn More

For more information on this new initiative or to get involved in one or more of the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups, please contact dmaxwell@tourismhr.ca by February 18, 2022. The Terms of Reference with further details will be provided. Working Group members will be invited to join based on their personal knowledge, breadth of experience, and capability to add to the dialogue at meetings.


COMING SOON: A Pan-Canadian Tourism Workforce Recovery & Growth Task Force will also be formed in the coming weeks. This group will support the efforts of the Tourism Workforce Recovery Working Groups by providing advice and information to address short-term and long-term systemic and structural issues facing the tourism sector. Be sure to subscribe to Tourism HR Insider for updates.