This article was written primarily by Tourism HR Canada.
On March 6 and 7 in Ottawa, TIAC attended Tourism HR Canada’s annual Labour Market Forum. The event brought together stakeholders from across Canada, including individuals from business, education, labour, industry associations, and government. Over 70 delegates came from across the country to discuss key issues and trends impacting tourism’s workforce.
As many members know, labour is one of TIAC’s key priorities. In the government’s recent budget, several initiatives were proposed to support overall labour shortages and small business owners.
Tourism HR Canada presented the most current data on prevailing labour market issues and framed key topics for the group to discuss/deliberate and craft recommendations on.
- Each national association in attendance (TIAC, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, Hotel Association of Canada, Restaurants Canada, Destination Canada) reported on the labour market challenges their members have voiced, with sobering and salient messages attesting to the impacts of a tight labour market. All talked about difficulties finding workers (of all types) and having to reduce services in spite of growing consumer demands.
- Employers report that the shortage of workers has many social and economic impacts.
- There were an estimated 100,000 tourism jobs that went unfilled between 2010 and 2017. Current projections show another 140,000 will go unfilled by 2035. However, with the Government of Canada’s increased intake of immigrants, the sector may benefit from as many as 85,000 newcomers filling some of those roles.
- Tourism HR Canada reported that in the past year, the Government of Canada has invested in new programs to help the sector address its labour challenges: Destination Employment, Future Skills Framework, Foundational Labor Market Information System, and LGBT+ Inclusivity Training).
- Delegates discussed ways to optimize existing programs and resources, to launch a coordinated career and image campaign, and to address the realities of work in tourism, such as housing shortages and seasonal operations.
For more information about the event, visit http://tourismhr.ca/2019-labour-market-forum/. Next year’s event will be held March 4-5, 2020, in Ottawa.