Report Takes Advantage of CTHRC Labour Market Information and Research

Tourism Industry Association of Canada Releases 2014 Gateway to Growth Report

Congratulations to the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) on the release of their publication 2014 GATEWAY TO GROWTH Tourism Labour Force Report. The report uses Labour Market Information (LMI) and research from the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC), data from Statistics Canada’s Human Resource Module of the Tourism Satellite Account, and information from other government departments and industry experts to paint a sobering picture of the state of Canada’s tourism industry, with a focus on its labour force.

The report explores current and future tourism labour shortages and barriers to growth, including the causes of shortages and misconceptions about working in the tourism industry. It also examines the impact of labour shortages and the value of tourism jobs to the national economy, and the positive effects of tourism on youth employment.

A few highlights from the report:

  • It is estimated that, by 2030, tourism labour shortages could surpass a quarter of a million jobs, costing the sector $31.4 billion in foregone revenues. This would also mean over $4 billion in lost federal tax revenue.
  • Tourism is one of Canada’s most important employers, with 1.62 million people working in the sector, about 1 in 10 Canadians. Tourism is an $84 billion industry in Canada, and creates employment in every region of the country.
  • Tourism is a significant employer of both new Canadians and youth, and teaches responsibility, service, customer care, sales, and other soft skills. These skills lead to advancement and successful careers in all sectors.

The report puts forward several recommendations on how to best address projected labour shortages, including several that are central to the CTHRC’s mandate and align with strategies outlined in the Federal Tourism Strategy.

TIAC recommends “more training to attract and retain employees, especially youth.” CTHRC research has shown that increased on the job training leads to more opportunity for advancement, which is the single most important factor in retaining employees across all sectors. Recognized as the best resources available for the sector, industry developed skills training, National Occupational Standards, and other HR tools are available for dozens of tourism related occupations from emerit.ca.

Another recommendation in the report calls for “support for professional certification programs.” It cites training and certification from emerit as a program which “formally acknowledges the skills needed and used in various tourism occupations, lending credibility to current jobs and for future opportunities.” Providing employees with the opportunity to be formally recognized for their efforts, skills and knowledge through professional certification programs is an excellent retention strategy, and has been shown to increase loyalty and efficiency in the workplace.

The report also recommends changes to government policy, including on the job training tax credits for small and medium sized businesses, labour mobility and employment insurance reforms, and changes to immigration laws and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

The GATEWAY TO GROWTH REPORT, along with the CTHRC’s reports on Labour Supply and Demand, Compensation in Tourism Jobs, and the Demographic Profile of Tourism Employees provide the industry with valuable insights into the tourism labour force that they can use to improve their business and the industry as a whole. These reports give businesses the information they need to develop attraction and retention strategies, to recognize where potential labour supply might be found, and to lobby government officials and effect real, meaningful change in the Canadian tourism industry.

CTHRC will continue working with TIAC and other national, provincial and territorial organizations and agencies to build a strong, sustainable, and professional Canadian tourism industry that lives up to its potential by investing in its greatest asset—its workers.