Pilot project to connect newcomers with hotel jobs

A new pilot project has been announced by the federal government that will connect newcomers with jobs in the hotel industry, while also supporting their language skills and integration into Canada.

Tourism directly accounted for $41.2 billion of Canada’s GDP in 2017, but the industry often struggles to attract and retain enough employees to meet the demand. This project hopes to counteract this.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will provide Tourism HR Canada with  nearly $7 million to run the three-year pilot project, in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada. It will assist up to 1,300 newcomers in gaining job experience. While on the job, newcomers will also have the opportunity to improve their English or French through informal learning, which will be supplemented by formal language training.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this innovative pilot project. I’m confident that Canada’s strong tourism industry will provide newcomers to Canada with a good start, in one of our most vital and vibrant industries,” says Bardish Chagger, minister of small business and tourism.

The focus is on employing newcomers in long-term hotel jobs in five locations: Atlantic Canada, Southern Ontario, Saskatoon/Regina, Banff/Lake Louise/Southern Alberta and the Yukon. Between 200 and 600 hotels across Canada are expected to participate in this pilot program.

“This initiative demonstrates the government’s commitment to seeking innovative solutions to the labour challenges currently facing the sector. The pilot program will introduce a scalable model that provides a win-win for hoteliers seeking engaged and committed new recruits, and newcomers who see the opportunity as an entry point to the Canadian workforce,” says Philip Mondor, president of Tourism HR Canada.