A new technology-focused approach to assist youth in securing employment


OTEC launches the pan-provincial ALiGN Network to address youth underemployment and labour shortages

In response to the critical labour shortages facing many of Ontario’s key sectors, OTEC has announced an innovative youth-targeted employment model called the ALiGN Network. Currently being launched across Ontario the initiative has brought together industry partners from across the province to develop a psychometric-based talent-to-role fit assessment and job-matching model designed initially for the hospitality and tourism industry.

OTEC has partnered with Ryerson University’s Magnet platform to bring this first-of-its-kind youth employment model online, making ALiGN accessible to businesses and job seekers anywhere in Ontario. Through the ALiGN Network, youth will be matched to live job postings based on their own unique personality attributes and interests. Work-ready job seekers will be fast-tracked into employment. Candidates with skills or qualifications gaps based on the assessment process will receive industry-designed training and certification, either through a network of regional training partners, or, through an online suite of industry training programs that can be accessed remotely.

“The fact that our youth unemployment rate is over 14 per cent in this province while employers are struggling to fill entry-level positions demands that we start looking at things differently” says Adam Morrison, V.P. Projects and Partnerships, OTEC. “Businesses have been telling us for years that, if candidates are the right fit, they will hire them and train them for advancement. We now have a system that matches youth to real opportunities based on their unique attributes, attitudes and goals.”

Working directly with industry in the development of the ALiGN Network in collaboration with partners like the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) will be key to its success. Since the assessment methodology is based on a behavioural and attitudinal benchmark established by industry, it will enable ALiGN’s employment and training partners to refer candidates to participating employers with confidence in the job seeker’s suitability for the position. It will also open up a new pool of potential candidates for employers - youth who might not have experience in the role, but are a natural fit for the work and the industry culture.

“We are dedicated to the development and growth of the hospitality industry” says Tony Elenis, President & CEO, ORHMA. “By working with key industry stakeholders and partners, we will address the issues of youth underemployment and labour shortages in the hospitality industry.”   

In 2017, the ALiGN skills training program network will be offered in five regions across Ontario: Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara, Thunder Bay and Algoma. Training Delivery partners include Humber College – Community Employment Services, Niagara College, Métis Nation of Ontario, HT Hospitality Training Inc. and Sagamok Anishnawbek. Key industry partners include Magnet/Ryerson University, ORHMA, Mobilize Jobs, and a roster of prominent, independent and global brands. Employers in their respective region will connect with a local training hub, or, directly with OTEC, to identify and recruit ALiGN graduates.

Funded in part by the Government of Ontario, with support from the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, the ALiGN project will represent a significant investment in hospitality training programming for the initial five regions, while also seeking to address the overall labour shortage Ontario is facing for front line hospitality roles.

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For more information about the ALiGN network, please contact:
Adam Morrison, V.P. Projects and Partnerships, OTEC. amorrison@otec.org
416.622.1975 ext: 236
Emmanuel Rey, Manager, Workforce Development and Industry Partnerships, OTEC. erey@otec.org
416.622.1975 ext: 210

OTEC is an Ontario-based independent, not-for-profit training, consulting & workforce development organization that delivers high quality, creative and branded solutions for the development and growth of a professional, skilled workforce. It is the leading source support for communities to build workforce capacity and for companies to attract, retain, and develop high performing employees and become Employer of Choice organizations.
OTEC is the premier source for Customer Service training and strategy development, Tourism Ambassador training, leadership skills training and certifications and education products and services for tourism, hospitality and service oriented organizations in a wide range of industry sectors both nationally and internationally.
E. www.otec.org      T. 416.622.1975

The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) is the largest provincial hospitality association in Canada. With over 4,000 members, representing more than 11,000 establishments across the province, the ORHMA is uniquely positioned to represent the issues that most impact your business.
ORHMA represents the industry's interests at both the Provincial and Municipal levels of government. Through our specialized in-house government relations experts, our provincial Board of Directors and our local Regional Boards, the Association provides pertinent and timely advice on industry-specific issues to politicians across the province.    The Association's dedicated and professional Membership Team provides ORHMA members with meaningful cost-saving programs and unique educational services.
ORHMA is dedicated to fostering a positive business climate for Ontario's hospitality industry, while providing value-added services to its members.
E. www.orhma.com    T. 905.361.0268