Destination Inclusion

On May 19th, Tourism HR Canada’s Destination Inclusion team organized a targeted virtual recruitment event with The Westin Ottawa and Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre. A group of enthusiastic Destination Inclusion program participants took the opportunity to meet with industry leaders from these two prestigious hotels, including: Andrew Falkenberg, Market Director of Human Resources, The Westin Ottawa & Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre; Annu Sandhu, Director of Operations, Delta Hotels by Marriott Ottawa City Centre; and Patricia Watt, Director of Rooms, The Westin Ottawa.

On behalf of both hotels, Andrew shared the various job vacancies and the hiring challenges they faced during their business recovery, and then introduced the hiring processes, business operation structure, and workplace cultures of these two hotels. Annu and Patricia also shared their responsibilities and personal career growth in the hospitality sector, which inspired great interest from the participants.

Participants were then split into three breakout rooms to engage with the three leaders respectively by asking career and job search related questions. The engaging discussions further connected employers and job seekers, allowing them to share their needs and challenges and create fruitful and authentic relationships.

This successful collaboration between the Destination Inclusion program and The Westin Ottawa and Delta Hotels by Marriott™ Ottawa City Centre provides a creative solution for tourism businesses to tackle their labour force challenges. which is a win-win-win solution.

This is a win for program participants. Programs like Destination Inclusion not only provide participants with industry-related skills training and pre-employment mentorship support, but also provide customized career counselling before connecting qualified participants with meaningful job opportunities.

This is a win for tourism employers. Tapping into hidden talent pools by collaborating with community organizations and programs like Destination Inclusion not only provides access to a diverse workforce with industry-needed skills, but also fulfills their social responsibilities by supporting equity deserving groups.

And this is a win for the program itself. As a pan-Canadian organization with a mandate aimed at building a world-leading tourism workforce, Tourism HR Canada always strives to promote jobs opportunities and tourism careers and to support employers by providing tools and guidance to build an inclusive workforce. This initiative tested an effective method to fulfill Tourism HR Canada’s mandate and improve the employment outcomes of the program.

Learn more about Destination Inclusion and sign up for an upcoming virtual information session

Now available until the end of June, the Destination Inclusion program continues to offer racialized individuals across Eastern Ontario the opportunity to explore new career pathways and gain the skills and connections to pursue their goals—all free of charge. Participants access online skills training and mentorship from tourism industry professionals, opening up job possibilities just as the summer tourist season is poised to take off.

Destination Inclusion Graduate Noeul Kang

Recent program graduate Noeul Kang offers this inspiring testimonial:

“I signed up for Destination Inclusion, and it changed my life. The e-learning materials had given me the proper knowledge related to my field to identify transferable skills for preparing myself for the Canadian labour market. I was not sure what to pursue since I moved to Canada. This program certainly gave me the right tools to navigate my career path and connections with people in the field that I’m interested in. The mentorship program has been beneficial to reshape my resume and cover letter and sharpen my interview skills. I appreciate all Destination Inclusion team members. Thank you so much again!”

The Destination Inclusion team hosts a series of virtual info sessions to anyone interested in learning more. The next events will be held:

  • Friday, April 22, at 11:00 AM Eastern
  • Wednesday, April 27, at 10:00 AM Eastern
  • Monday, May 2, at 2:00 PM Eastern

Click here to register for any of these sessions.


Tourism HR Canada thanks Destination Inclusion delivery partners World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).

This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, continue to share how the program has impacted them.

Destination Inclusion graduate Shailesh Shrestha

Participant Shailesh Shrestha recently described how the program has played a key role in facilitating a career change in a new country:

“My professional background was in various forms of performing arts such as radio, theater, television, and film back in Nepal,” Shailesh stated.

Shailesh originally immigrated to New York City, where he started a completely new career in the service and hospitality industry. “I saw a job posting in the neighbourhood diner,” he explained. “I was not familiar with the terminology, but I dared to apply for the position as bus boy without any basic knowledge or experience. Fortunately, they offered me the job, and I started right away. That was the start to my open-ended career path in the service and hospitality industry. Since then, I have worked in five-star and diamond landmark hotels and upscale fine dining establishments managed and operated by celebrity chefs.”

He added, “I did not have any privileged economic and educational background, but I demonstrated the guts and determination to move forward and I ultimately accomplished what I deeply wanted to be. Being an immigrant, I strongly believe that we have that level of audacity, strength, and resilience because we know the true meaning of equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

After spending two decades in the United States, Shailesh and his family moved to Canada. “We came to this amazing, immigrant-friendly nation to explore the remaining achievable dreams and aspirations,” he said. “But we arrived when the pandemic was at its highest level and entire markets were closed. Despite my outstanding achievements and experience in the service and hospitality industry, I was not able to find any equivalent job with livable minimum wage.”

He started frequently participating in many training sessions, forums, and virtual job fairs. Shailesh connected with the Destination Inclusion program through the Canadian Immigrant job fair.

“I signed up for the mentorship program, which is amazingly useful to accelerate one’s career. As per a suggestion from my mentor, I enrolled myself in the online Hospitality Essentials Front Desk Agent course,” he shared. “After completing this, I was able to pursue the certification and am now equipped and emboldened with full enthusiasm and confidence. I never thought I would move from food and beverage to front desk. This opportunity and certification led to an open-ended path for a new career. After completing this online course, I have been looking for more opportunities to grab through Destination Inclusion and Tourism HR Canada. I strongly believe this organization has contributed so much to empower racialized individuals, Indigenous peoples, women, and marginalized communities. As I promote through my social activism, we need more Destination Inclusion types of programming to make sure we are an equitable and just society and nation.”

Destination Inclusion graduates are open to employment opportunities to apply their skills in roles related to cooking, housekeeping, and front desk operations. For details, visit the program webpage or email info@destinationinclusion.ca.

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, continue to share how the program has impacted them.

Participant Lydie Adegbindi recently described how the program has helped her explore a career that draws on her personal interests.

I was referred to the Destination Inclusion program by one of my mentors, and I did not hesitate to take the opportunity, especially because it empowers minority groups like me. Another reason for me is that the modules included Line Cook, as cooking has always been one of my passions in life.

The learning materials were well-organized and the training drew my attention to utilizing the right words or names for the kitchen utensils, equipment, and cooking processes.

From the information session, everything was very detailed and explicit. The participants were given all the necessary information before it commenced. The mentors took us through all the steps, from the application to the completion of the courses, and also provided a mentorship program for the different modules. Throughout the learning process, I was able to receive prompt feedback for technical problems that occurred.

My hope is that this could also open job opportunities as soon as possible for people among us who would like to make a career in these fields that we have been trained in.

If you’re interested in participating in this free program, click here to visit the Destination Inclusion webpage or click here to sign up for the next virtual information session, March 16 at 9:00 AM Eastern.

If you’re an employer interested in connecting with trained Destination Inclusion graduates, please email info@destinationinclusion.ca.

 

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, continue to share how the program has impacted them.

Participant Youssef Skalli recently explained how the program has played a key role in his lifelong learning journey:

Within my pro bono coaching activities, I engaged with a passionate group of young professional front desk agents in the tourism industry that needed support to structure their transferable skills. After 45 minutes of active listening, my intellectual curiosity about this job was climbing. I wanted to know more about what is behind those calm and smiling faces we meet every time we check in/out of a hotel.

Thanks to World Skills and Tourism HR Canada, I could enroll in the Destination Inclusion learning program.

The moment I started the first self-paced e-learning module related to the front desk agent role, my curiosity along with my respect to that crucial role for any hotel team didn’t stop growing.

I am so glad that I took this complete course; it is a great addition to my lifelong learning journey. Front desk agents are not only those (most of the time) friendly and professional individuals greeting us whenever we step into a hotel reception. The job requires a variety of leadership and communication skills which implies also strong resilience, accountability, teamwork, business acumen, health and safety awareness…

I believe we are all “front desk agents” at one moment or the other, whether in our personal or professional life. 

A great learning, thank you Destination Inclusion team!

Delivered in partnership with the World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), the Destination Inclusion program will continue to run through to the end of March 2022.

Registration is ongoing, and interested applicants are invited to find more information—including how to sign up for an upcoming virtual information session—at destinationinclusion.ca.

Employers wishing to connect with Destination Inclusion graduates and tourism professionals interested in mentoring participants are invited to email info@destinationinclusion.ca.


This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Graduates of the Destination Inclusion program, which offers free learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario, have been sending in their success stories. The program is clearly offering individuals new opportunities to pursue employment in the tourism sector.

Recent grad Clairon Haynes shared her Destination Inclusion experience:

When this program was recommended to me by Saint Laurent Employment Services, I was super excited because it jelled well with my pre-existing experience acquired in Montreal working at Pierre Trudeau International Airport. I always wanted to work as an airport screening agent since I already have my Restricted Area Identity Card (RAIC) red pass from Transport Canada!

Learning about the ins and outs of the front desk role was rather interesting, intriguing, educational, and informative. The online learning modules were easy to navigate, and I like how there were quizzes at the end of each topic. They tested all domains of mental cognition—knowledge, skills, comprehension, and application. Each question was designed to give me the practice I need to get the gist of what my daily job as a front desk agent will look like.

With this training I feel more confident to begin my job search in my field.

Since the completion of my training, I have been able to apply to several front desk related jobs. The Ottawa Airport has reached out to me for an interview and testing next week for their screen agent position. I am excited!

I appreciate everything that this course will help me to achieve in the future.

Delivered in partnership with the World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), the Destination Inclusion program will continue to run through to the end of March 2022.

Registration is ongoing, and interested applicants are invited to find more information—including how to sign up for an upcoming virtual information session—at destinationinclusion.ca.

Employers wishing to connect with Destination Inclusion graduates and tourism professionals interested in mentoring participants are invited to email info@destinationinclusion.ca.


This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Destination Inclusion, a new skills development initiative announced in the September 15 edition of Tourism HR Insider, has now commenced and is gaining momentum.

Coordinated in conjunction with partners World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), this program offers learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario.

A new, customized learning platform became officially available to program participants this month. Participants who have completed and submitted registration forms will now have access to start their self-directed online training. Courses focus on skills related to three tourism-related learning streams: cooking, front desk, and housekeeping.

As an additional resource to the online courses, Tourism HR Canada also launched Hospitality Essentials. These microlearning assets are designed to support Destination Inclusion participants through their training. Participants can access these embedded learning supports to enhance their technical, essential, transferable, and cultural competencies.

The Hospitality Essentials microlearning can also be accessed free of charge by visiting hospitalityessentials.ca. Explore the assets for a quick, interactive look at core skills, vocabulary, and career profiles.

For more information on the Destination Inclusion program, visit destinationinclusion.ca or sign up for the next virtual information session, scheduled for Wednesday, November 10, at 1:00pm Eastern Time.


This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario

Tourism HR Canada will soon be launching a new skills development initiative, Destination Inclusion. Coordinated in conjunction with partners World Skills Employment Centre and the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO), this program will offer learning and mentorship opportunities to racialized individuals in communities across Eastern Ontario.

Destination Inclusion participants will have free access to specialized skills assessments and customized training to enhance their technical, essential, transferable, and cultural competencies. They will have the opportunity to:

  • Enhance transferable skills and language competencies
  • Achieve better employment outcomes by acquiring industry-needed skills
  • Explore a variety of career opportunities and paths in the tourism sector
  • Access a broad support network and mentorship opportunities
  • Obtain greater confidence and self-esteem in workplace settings
  • Gain understanding of the tourism sector and Canadian workplace culture

The program will focus on three tourism-related learning streams: cooking, front desk, and housekeeping. A skills assessment will provide guidance on a suitable stream for each participant, but they are welcome to choose any or all that are of interest. The programming will all be offered online, through flexible, self-directed e-learning modules and supplementary micro-learning assets.

Destination Inclusion will also offer participants mentorship support, connecting them directly with tourism professionals. This will foster discussions around employment pathways in the industry, provide networking opportunities, and build an understanding of the many prospects available as the sector recovers from the pandemic.

Participants meeting these criteria are eligible for the Destination Inclusion program:

  • Self-identify as a member of a racialized group
  • Reside in Eastern Ontario

For participants whose first language is not English, meeting of level 5 or higher on the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is recommended.

Virtual information sessions will be held throughout the fall, with participant programming launching in early October.

For more information on the program and the link to register for an upcoming information session, please visit the Destination Inclusion webpage.


Tourism-focused skills training is also available in other regions of Ontario:

OTEC offers Tourism SkillsNet North, which identifies workforce labour gaps specific to northern Ontario, designs responsive customized training to meet these specific needs, trains employees, and matches them with available job opportunities within Northern Ontario’s tourism sector.

Destination Toronto has just launched Hospitality EDGE, which offers a highly curated suite of online courses at no cost for workers in the hospitality sector in the Toronto, Mississauga, and Brampton area.


This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario