Hospitality NL leads innovative training research project with support from NL Workforce Innovation Centre

November 17, 2017 – Hospitality NL is pleased to announce it has been awarded a three-year training and research project, in partnership with Tourism HR Canada, aimed at reskilling non-tourism sector workers for employment in the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Announced today in Corner Brook by the Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, the project is supported by the NL Workforce Innovation Centre’s (WIC) Research and Innovation Program.

This program of study will identify training required in rural Newfoundland and Labrador tourism destinations that have good potential to expand their tourism industry, but face high unemployment rates or low workforce participation. The project will deliver that training to employers and to individuals who are unemployed and require retraining to work in the tourism sector, or who have dropped out of the labour force but desire to work in tourism. It will adapt existing training opportunities to meet the needs of the destination and allow learners to acquire the tourism skills needed to work competently, safely and productively.

“As we work to grow and further develop the provincial tourism industry’s economic and cultural impact, emphasis must be placed on fostering a robust and qualified workforce that has the skills and knowledge required to be successful in tourism,” says Hospitality NL Chair, Dion Finlay. “Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador is facing a significant labour shortage, predicted to equal over 3,000 unfilled jobs in the sector by 20351. There are considerable opportunities in tourism and the industry offers employment that is meaningful, flexible and fosters a wide range of skill sets up to and including corporate management. Hospitality NL is keen to work with our national partner, Tourism HR Canada, to invest in the people that help make this province a world class tourism destination, and to help bolster activity and drive growth in rural Newfoundland and Labrador communities.”

“This initiative is a prime example of the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour’s investment in social and economic development in tourism communities offering authentic experiences to visitors from around the globe,” says Tourism HR Canada President Philip Mondor. “This innovative project highlights the importance of securing a skilled workforce to meet the growing needs of local businesses and the growing expectations of tourists. It also showcases the value of tourism to rural areas, diversifying the economy and providing reskilling and job opportunities. We look forward to this addition to our longstanding partnership with Hospitality NL, as we work together to build a sustainable, competitive tourism sector.”

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is the provincial tourism industry association dedicated to advancing growth in tourism through advocacy efforts, skills and knowledge development and membership and networking opportunities. For more information, please visit


Media Contacts:

Melissa Ennis
Manager, Policy and Communications
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
P: 1-800-563-0700 ext. 231

Heather Elder
Marketing Manager
Tourism HR Canada
P: 613-231-6949 ext. 227


The project, to be completed by August 2020, aims to identify whether reskilling for tourism will allow unemployed workers from non-tourism industries to enter the tourism labour force and support the development and expansion of a destination’s tourism product offering. Initial research will identify rural communities that have potential to grow their tourism sector and have a group of individuals that have the potential to work, but may require training to move into the tourism sector. Destinations will be identified in each of the five regions of the province using the current Destination Development PlansProvincial Tourism Product Development Strategy and other available data. The research will be done over a series of phases with training and employment to be delivered in the peak tourism seasons in the spring/summer of 2018 and 2019.

Hospitality NL is the lead partner providing project management and oversight. Tourism HR Canada, responsible for project research development and implementation, specializes in tourism labour market analysis, research and development projects and is recognized by the International Labor Organization and the United Nations World Tourism Organization as a leading authority on tourism research, and statistical information on the economics of tourism, employment in the industry and labour market information.

NL Workforce Innovation Centre (WIC): Research and Innovation Program

An initiative of the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, through funding provided by the Labour Market Development Agreement, the NL Workforce Innovation Centre (WIC) will enhance the body of research and good evidence to build capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador’s employment and training system to help more residents get and keep jobs. The NL WIC brings together employers, service providers, government and other key stakeholders to drive innovative approaches in employment and training service delivery. By researching, piloting, testing, and evaluating evidence based approaches, the Centre will strengthen linkages, define priorities, and build capacity for a stronger employment system in the province. The Centre will feature interconnected hubs throughout the province to bring local expertise to the Centre’s core work of supporting local employment and training stakeholders.