A new project from the federal government is hoping to address employment concerns at hotels across Canada, as well as provide newcomers with more opportunities.
The newly-launched Employing Newcomers in Canadian Hotels pilot program is expected to connect immigrants and refugees with jobs in Canada’s hotel industry.
“Hotel Association of Canada together with our partner Tourism HR Canada are applauding the federal government for launching this initiative, and we want to thank both the ministers for their leadership and support,” said Hotel Association of Canada president Susie Grynol in a teleconference on Wednesday afternoon.
The program was launched on World Refugee Day, with hopes of bringing attention to the hundreds of legal immigrants seeking employment in Canada.
Grynol said the Canadian hotel industry is a perfect fit, as there are currently thousands of available jobs.
“As Canada continues to grow in popularity and tourists flock to visit our beautiful landscapes, hotels, particularly during seasonal periods, are short-staffed,” said Grynol. “As demand continues to rise, we face a situation that is counterbalanced.”
The project will start in a few urban centres, and work its way out to different communities.
In the East Coast, the pilot project will see its first effort at the Atlantica Hotel in Halifax. President David Clark welcomes the initiative, despite the current lack of specifics.
“The labour force is getting more and more difficult to bring people in at buying-level positions, so we look at every opportunity we can to hire new people,” he said.
Clark expects the program will help fill a variety of hotel positions, including front office, concierge and housekeeping. He anticipates the positions to be full-time and year-round.