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October O-News: Tourism Skillsnet Ontario

Imagine this – An Ontario-based hotel General Manager worked all night along with the housekeeping room attendants preparing the rooms for future guests. Why is this?

Increasing labour shortages are impacting our businesses in Ontario and this is not an uncommon occurrence many employers are facing in the hospitality, tourism and food services sectors. A new model for workforce innovation and strategy, Tourism SkillsNet Ontario was formed to specifically address this issue by leveraging partner collaboration and HR technology for regional workforce development.

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? Demographics! The number of people aged 15 to 24 is decreasing, and this age group is projected to continuously shrink until 2022.

Tourism SkillsNet Ontario is a provincial tourism workforce development network with industry-community working groups in each of 10 destinations from the North, East, Central and West. It represents a systems-based approach to workforce development with a network that cascades from a Provincial Advisory Council to Regional Working Groups comprised of associations, employment providers, employers and planning boards. These partners share a variety of perspectives to advance strategic workforce development consultations into action plans for each region. The ultimate goal is to work collaboratively and find innovative ways to fill labour and skills gaps in the hospitality, tourism and food services sectors.

In Canada there are 1.7 million jobs in tourism industries, but studies on labour supply show that by 2035, the number of jobs that will go unfilled will be 240,000. If workers cannot be found, the industry could forgo $27.4 billion in potential spending.

Follow Tourism SkillsNet Ontario updates to learn more about what is happening across Ontario and how these champions are making a difference!

To find out more about Tourism Skillsnet Ontario and how your community can participate, please contact David Enriquez, Director, Workforce Strategies at OTEC.