A Lifeline For The Hardest Hit

Tourism HR Canada has launched a federally funded Student Work Placement Program that offers paid work-integrated learning opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Called Propel, the new program benefits the full spectrum of the visitor economy as it emerges from the crushing impact of the pandemic.

Students gain paid hands-on learning and mentoring in their field of study. Employers acquire much-needed early talent to help with the recovery of the industry, as well as assistance with wages after an 18-month stretch of little or no income. Post-secondary institutions complement their programming by connecting students and the workplace.

Philip Mondor, President and CEO of Tourism HR Canada, explained that: “Propel is integral to the recovery and resiliency of Canada’s tourism sector. Our industry has been left reeling from the measures needed to ensure the health and safety of Canadians.”

Mondor continued: “Despite their best efforts, many employers were not able to retain their staff and are facing difficulty rebuilding as restrictions lift. Students have missed out on opportunities to get a foothold in the labour market, build essential social and employability skills, and make meaningful industry connections.”

And he added: “Propel creates a direct link between students looking to enhance their workplace skills and employers who can provide that valuable experience while also showcasing the depth and breadth of career pathways in the industry.”

Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada through the Student Work Placement Program, Propel offers employers a wage subsidy of up to 75% of a qualifying student’s wages, to a maximum of $7,500.

Students enrolled at a recognized post-secondary institution can apply for a paid position to fulfil the co-op or internship component of their program. Early adopters of this program include Accor, George Brown College, Ryerson University, and Vancouver Community College.

Heather McCrory, CEO North & Central America, Accor, observed that: “It’s been a devastating 18 months for hospitality, but the teamwork and spirit of entrepreneurship that has seen us through is truly inspiring. We are delighted to be part of an initiative that is helping our industry to win and build back stronger and better than before.”

McCrory continued: “Just as we are committed to providing unparalleled guest experiences, we are driven to search for diverse talent who want to reach their fullest potential with a rewarding career. I am proof that it is possible to “Be Limitless” with Accor. I started my career over 30 years ago in the laundry room at Accor’s Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and advanced through the business to now lead over 22,000 employees in more than 100 hotels across North & Central America.”

And she added: “This program will help to find those passionate individuals who want to be part of an exciting future, and we look forward to welcoming them to our properties in the fall.”

Go to www.tourismhr.ca for more.