Tourism Skills Training – Call for Expressions of Interest

Hospitality NL will lead a three-year training and research project aimed at reskilling non-tourism sector workers for employment in the tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Reskill project is supported by the NL Workforce Innovation Centre’s (WIC) Research and Innovation Program. Funding is provided by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, under the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development Agreement.

Research Question

Will reskilling for tourism 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?

Tourism is vital to Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy; it is a key driver of socio-economic progress. Tourism creates business growth and incentive to invest in infrastructure development. Tourism is one of the largest employers in the province supporting over 20,000 direct jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador and accounting for 9% of all jobs. Furthermore, tourism plays a significant role in job creation and employs labour groups who can have difficulty gaining employment. Employment prospects in the tourism and hospitality sector continue to grow at a rate greater than overall employment. Furthermore, tourism employment shows greater stability than many industries during times of economic uncertainty.

Description of the Research Project

This project will identify training required in rural tourism destinations that have a high potential to expand their tourism industry but face high unemployment 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.

The project will identify through an expression of interest process, rural destination/communities that have the 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. The deadline for the first round of expressions of interest is May 31, 2018.

Destinations/communities must demonstrate an interest in growing their tourism economy, identify training needs, recruit businesses and provide support to participants through the expression of interest process and signing a MOU with the project partners.

Within each destination/community, research will be undertaken to establish skills needs, with a focus on new and emergent transferable skills that are currently lacking. Potential trainees will be recruited from the destination/community and assessed to determine the exact skill upgrading they require to work in the tourism sector. This research will also deliver a base line assessment of tourism business operations and learner skills and knowledge which can be compared with post-training assessments.

As an additional piece of research, potential trainees who decline participation will be asked to explain their reasons for declining. This will allow for the identification of any barriers that keep potential workers from joining or rejoining the labour force. By identifying these barriers, potential means of removing the barriers or providing incentives that would encourage potential workers to overcome them can be put in place.

The business and trainee needs analysis will be followed by the adaptation and delivery of training. The specific training delivered will be based on the needs analysis but will fall within one of three overarching training models. The business training model will focus on growing the business through product development and delivery, training employers and supervisors to actively support the needs of learners, and ensure they have the skills to continue to enhance their workforce beyond the boundaries of this project.

Individual learners will follow one of two models. Those requiring it will receive pre-employment tourism training then be placed with an employer with ongoing support for both the learner and the employer. Those who do not require pre-employment training will be placed directly in employment with an on the job assessment from which a self-directed training curriculum will be created based on their specific needs.

There will be ongoing assessment of learners, employers and the destination/community to assess the efficacy of the project. The project has research phases and training development/delivery phases. Training is expected to occur in two segments, the first at two destinations in summer 2018 and the second at three destinations in summer 2019.

The project will provide improved supports to older workers, person with disabilities, income support clients and to individuals living in rural and remote regions, who are interested in obtaining employment and workplace based training in the tourism industry in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Project Partners

Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador is the Tourism Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, representing tourism/hospitality operators throughout the province in all sectors and regions. The mandate of Hospitality NL includes the responsibility to support the development of a professional workforce and improve the competitiveness, quality and market readiness of the tourism industry.

The collective objectives of Hospitality NL and its partners have been developing and offering professional development products, programs and services to:

  • Enhance the quality, market readiness and customer service of tourism businesses and attractions.
  • Improve human resource management and training practices to reduce employee turnover and impacts of growing labour shortages.
  • Increase training and professionalism.

Hospitality NL is able to achieve those objectives by working with many national, provincial and regional partners on projects that help develop the workforce needed to grow the economic value of the tourism industry in the province.

Tourism HR Canada (THRC) specializes in tourism labour market analysis, research and development projects. Tourism HR Canada 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. In partnership with Statistics Canada, THRC were leaders in the development of the Human Resource Module of the Tourism Satellite Account, an internationally celebrated statistical instrument to reveal and analyze detailed information on employment in tourism industries.

Download the Destination/Community Expression of Interest Form below:

For more information or to submit an Expression of Interest, contact:

Juanita Ford
Chief Operating Officer
Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador
709-722-2000 ext 226